Stronger mental health, substance use services to help young people thrive (

Media Contacts

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

250 213-7049


What people are saying about ICY teams

Vivian Eliopoulos, interim president and CEO, Vancouver Coastal Health

“We need to continue to ensure that young people with mental health and substance challenges receive the right care customized to their needs so that we can improve health outcomes. The efforts to tailor and streamline access to care is a good step forward in supporting children, youth and their families early on.”  

Ken Hamaguchi, chairperson, Richmond Board of Education

“The Richmond School District appreciates the funding that is being provided by the Province to address the need for additional mental health support in our community. The implementation of an integrated child and youth (ICY) team will offer essential care and services to many children, youth and families in Richmond. Supporting our learners and our community is fundamental to who we are and what we are hoping to achieve.”

Roger Parsonage, executive director, clinical operations, Interior Health —

“We continue to work alongside partners to build a better and more co-ordinated mental health system for young people and their families. These new multidisciplinary teams will be available to help children and youth when and where they need it, providing access to wraparound, youth-centred care at what is often a critical time.”  

Rob Zandee, board chair, Okanagan-Similkameen School District —

SD #53 is appreciative to be named one of three new sites for an ICY team. We acknowledge the positive impact the ICY team will have on serving the mental health and substance use needs of the students and families in our communities. This is an area of priority for the district, and we look forward to the collaborative process that will build on our efforts.”

Chris Simms, health services administrator, Northern Health —

“This is very positive for the young people of Terrace and their families. By supporting strong linkages of Northern Health’s community and specialized services with schools, Ministry of Children and Family Development, primary care and community organizations including the Foundry, we are hopeful these teams will achieve their full potential and deliver continuous, collaborative wraparound supports to children, youth and their families.”

Shar McCrory, board chair, Coast Mountains School District —

“Coast Mountains School District 82 is grateful for the opportunity to expand our relationship with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions. Combined with existing supports for youth, such as physical health education curriculum, the Erase strategy and Foundry centres, ICY teams will add yet another layer of collaborative, interconnected and continuous wraparound services to vulnerable youth in a culturally sensitive manner. When individuals and organizations work collaboratively to improve life circumstances, it is better for the youth, the communities and society as a whole.”

Facts about child and youth mental health, and substance use
  • In B.C., an estimated 84,000 children aged four to 17 years are experiencing mental health disorders at any time.
  • 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 $8.8 million over three years to help all 60 school districts, as well as independent schools, enhance existing mental health and wellness programs and launch new programs for students, families and educators.
  • Mental well-being and substance use literacy is included in the physical and health education curriculum from kindergarten through Grade 12.
  • The 2018 refreshed Erase (expect respect and a safe education) strategy 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 11 to 19 to help young people in more communities access these “one-stop shops” for health and wellness resources, services and supports.
  • More youth will soon have access to 123 new beds for substance use treatment and withdrawal management, doubling the number of treatment beds for young people struggling with addiction in B.C.