Media Contacts

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Media Relations
250 882-9054


What people are saying about enhanced substance-use, mental-health care for young people

Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development –

“We know how important it is for youth to be able to get help when they need it, and this expansion of services and supports means that young people and their families will have increased access to vital substance-use care. We know that the earlier support is provided, the better the outcome. Our goal is to help young people on a path of well-being and to help them thrive.”

Sharlynne Burke, provincial executive director, child and youth mental health programs, BC Children’s Hospital –

“There is moral distress around youth and substance use where parents and caregivers can sometimes feel powerless to protect children from the harmful effects of drugs. But the Substance Use Response and Facilitation (SURF) team at BC Children’s Hospital can help navigate those waves of emotion and provide more specialized treatment for patients. With this expansion, the SURF team members can treat patients admitted to our hospital, as well as in our emergency department. They provide expertise in the assessment of the substance-use disorder severity and facilitation of more meaningful treatment.”

Dr. Dan Lin, medical director, psychiatrist, Foundry Vancouver-Granville –

“As a psychiatrist, I see the struggles youth are facing every day, and I know that we can reduce those struggles by making it easier for youth and families to know what services are available and how they can access them at all levels of care. This expansion in service is going to go a long way in prioritizing the well-being and care of young people.”

Amanda Horne, youth peer support worker, Foundry Vancouver-Granville –

“As a previous client and current youth peer support worker at Foundry Vancouver-Granville, I understand first-hand the positive impact these services have on youth. I'm excited to see this expansion of youth substance-use services across B.C., because it means more youth will be able to access age-appropriate and specific supports in their communities.”

Tenille Lindsay, clinical co-ordinator, Child Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Service, and a member of the Port Alberni Youth Short Term Assessment and Response (YSTAR) Team –

“The creation of YSTAR teams across six communities on Vancouver Island is significantly increasing connection, supports and service access for highly vulnerable children and youth experiencing severe mental-health challenges and are using harmful substances. As a former emergency department nurse, I know the value of quickly and effectively connecting youth and, where appropriate, their support persons with community-based services and supports. In the few months YSTAR teams have been up and running, we are already seeing positive changes and outcomes for youth who are connected.”