This Child and Youth Mental Health Day, Health Minister Terry Lake and Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health and Anti-Bullying Jane Thornthwaite announced $850,000 in funding to the F.O.R.C.E. (Families Organized for Recognition and Care Equality) Society to support child and youth mental health in British Columbia.
“Parenting is never an easy job, and for parents of children with mental-health challenges it can be overwhelming,” said Lake. “With about one in eight young people in B.C. suffering from a mental-health challenge, this investment in the F.O.R.C.E. Society is helping families access valuable mental-health supports, services and resources.”
As part of its mandate to support children, youth and families, the F.O.R.C.E. Society developed the Parent in Residence and Youth in Residence programs, in which parents and youth act as mentors and provide support based on their experience as a family with mental-health challenges. They help families navigate the child and youth mental-health system and point them to the resources available.
“The F.O.R.C.E. Society has been an instrumental partner in helping B.C. children and youth with mental-health issues and their families,” said Thornthwaite. “This investment will allow F.O.R.C.E. to expand its services and make an even bigger difference to the 10,000 families they serve every year.”
The Parent in Residence program has been established in the Vancouver Coastal, Vancouver Island, Fraser and Interior health authorities, and the Youth in Residence operates through the Kelty Mental Health Centre in Vancouver. The F.O.R.C.E. Society also works with service providers to strengthen the care provided to children, youth and families.
“The bonds that are created in our parent and youth in residence programs can be life changing for families going through mental-health challenges,” said Keli Anderson, founder and ambassador for the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health. “We are grateful to the Province of B.C. for this funding and helping us to continue supporting families.”
“I’m pleased that today, on Child and Youth Mental Health Day, the provincial government is making a significant investment with this grant to the F.O.R.C.E.,” said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth. “My Office has identified navigating the mental-health system as a significant challenge for young people and their families in B.C. and the F.O.R.C.E. is doing some strong work in this area.”
This investment aligns with the provincial government's 10-year mental-health and substance-use plan, Healthy Minds, Healthy People, which focuses on prevention, early intervention, treatment and sustainability. As well, the Ministry of Health recently released several policy papers which outlines the strategic service priorities for the health sector with a focus on building primary and community care supports to better meet the needs of individuals, including those with mental-health challenges.
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development continue to work together with community partners in the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Collaborative to support children, youth and families struggling with mental-health and substance-use issues in B.C.
Child and Youth Mental Health Day is a national awareness day to help create public awareness about child and youth mental health and to connect kids to those who care about them.
- Currently, almost 29,000 children and youth receive community mental-health services annually - more than double the number who received services in 2003.
- Nearly 84,000 children and youth, aged four to 17 years, suffer from mental-health issues in British Columbia.
- The Ministry of Health spent approximately $1.38 billion to address mental health and substance use issues in 2013-14 - an approximate increase of 63% from the 2000-01 total of $851.4 million.
- The Ministry of Children and Family Development invests approximately $93 million annually to address child and youth mental-health and substance use challenges in B.C.
- Three-quarters of that funding ($70 million) is spent on community-based mental-health services. The remainder is spent on specialized services, including the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre, mental-health services, and substance-use treatment for youth involved in the justice system.
To learn more about The F.O.R.C.E. Society, please visit: www.forcesociety.com
To learn more about Child and Youth Mental Health Day, please visit:
To view an online map of mental-health and substance-use services in B.C., please visit: http://goo.gl/9TVI0T
To learn more about CYMH supports and services through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, please visit: www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/mental_health/index.htm
To learn more about the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Minds, Healthy People website and report, please visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/about.html
Ministry of Children and
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Health:
Media Relations Manager
250 952-1887 (media line)