Leading-edge mental health supports coming for Comox Valley students (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Tracey Robertson

Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
250 880-7979


Facts about child and youth mental health
  • In B.C., 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 among 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 September 2019, the Province invested $8.87 million over the next three years for a range of school-based initiatives, including professional development and grants, to help all 60 school districts and independent schools enhance existing mental wellness programs and to launch new programs for students, parents and educators.
  • A focus on mental health and substance use are also found in every grade of the physical and health education curriculum from kindergarten through Grade 10. The grades 11 and 12 curriculum will roll out in fall 2019 and are elective courses.
  • The Erase (expect respect and a safe education) strategy, refreshed in 2018, has been expanded to focus on building safe and caring school communities by empowering students, families and educators with resources about complex issues facing students.
  • The Province is increasing access to the number of Foundry youth centres from eight 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 currently 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.