Media Contacts

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

778 698-8252


Facts about child and youth mental health in B.C.
  • In British Columbia, an estimated 84,000 children aged four to 17 years are experiencing mental health disorders at any given time.
  • From 2009 to 2017, there was an 86% increase in hospitalizations in B.C. for mental health issues of youth under 25 years of age.
  • Promoting wellness, preventing mental health and addictions challenges and intervening early in life can reduce problems as people grow and develop. It is estimated that 70% of mental health and substance use problems have their onset during childhood or adolescence.
  • In February 2018, the Province invested $3 million for a range of early intervention initiatives, including professional development and grants, to help all 60 school districts and independent schools enhance existing mental wellness programs targeting students, parents and educators, as well as assist with the launch of new ones.
    • For example, the Ministry of Education’s Mental Health in Schools initiative will build a platform for the provincewide school system for mental health promotion and prevention. 
  • A focus on mental health and substance use is found in every grade of the physical and health education curriculum from kindergarten through Grade 10 (the grade 11 and 12 curriculums will roll out in fall 2019 and are elective courses).
  • The Province is implementing evidence-based and culturally safe programs and supports that focus on prevention and promotion activities to be delivered in K-12 schools provincewide.
  • The 2018 refreshed Erase (expect respect and a safe education) strategy has been expanded to focus on building safe, caring school communities by empowering students, families and educators with resources about complex issues facing students.
  • The Province is increasing the number of Foundry youth centres from 11 to 19, so that young people in more communities can access these “one-stop shops” for health and wellness resources, services and supports.
    • There are Foundry centres in Vancouver (Granville and the North Shore), Kelowna, Campbell River, Prince George, Abbotsford, Penticton and Victoria. An additional three centres are in development in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, Richmond and Terrace.