A new education and training program at Camosun College will enable people to train for high-demand jobs as community mental health workers.
B.C.’s need for mental health support has never been more critical than during the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet that need, government is investing a total of $800,000 across four public post-secondary institutions to train community mental health workers. Community mental health workers provide invaluable support, such as mental and physical health promotion, shelter support and addictions counselling, to individuals who struggle with mental health and addiction issues.
“Government is working on ways to help B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19. This includes enabling people to retrain or upskill in innovative programs, or receive essential on-the-job training for high-demand jobs, such as community mental health workers,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The funding we’re announcing today will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Camosun College in Victoria is one of four post-secondary institutions throughout the province that will train community mental health workers. The college has received funding for 20 seats for the program.
“Adding more learning and training spots will make a lasting impact to support people and families in the community who are living with mental health and substance use challenges,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “It is institutions like Camosun College, their staff and students that are the foundation for building the comprehensive mental health and substance use system of care people need and deserve.”
This investment in community mental health is part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan to help thousands of people upskill or reskill and find their place in the post-COVID-19 economy. It is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South –
“People have been struggling in the wake of COVID-19 and front-line workers have been working tirelessly to support those who need help. Our government recognizes the urgency of training up mental health-care professionals, and that’s why we are funding these seats.”
Rob Fleming, MLA for Victoria-Swan Lake –
“Front-line workers have carried us through this pandemic, and it’s become clear we need to support these fields more. Through our economic recovery plan, we are making it easier for people to get the training they need to find good jobs and begin a meaningful career.”
Grace Lore, MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill –
“I’m so thankful for all the hard work of people on the front lines of this pandemic, including those who are working to provide mental health care and support to British Columbians. COVID-19 has amplified the mental health needs in our communities, and we are working in partnership to create more educational opportunities in the mental health-care field, creating good jobs and improving care.”
For fast-track skills training opportunities in StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/jobs-and-opportunities
Virtual mental health supports during COVID-19: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-supports-covid-19