Coast Mountains School District 82 will be one of five school districts receiving funding for integrated child and youth teams to help provide better support for mental health and substance use issues. (Black Press photo)

Coast Mountains School District 82 will be one of five school districts receiving funding for integrated child and youth teams to help provide better support for mental health and substance use issues. (Black Press photo)

Integrated child and youth teams for mental health support coming to Coast Mountains School District 82

Coast Mountains is one of five B.C. school districts to have been included in this initiative so far

The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has announced that integrated child and youth teams will be implemented in Coast Mountains School District 82 for better, more timely mental health and substance use care for children and youth.

“For too long, families have had to struggle to get the services that they need for their children. They’ve often had to knock on one door, after another, after another, at a really critical time, when help is urgently needed and when everyday can matter,” Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Judy Darcy, said in an announcement Wednesday (Sept. 2). “With these child and youth teams, there is no ‘one size fits all.’ The composition of the teams will really vary according according to the needs of the particular community and school district.”

READ MORE: B.C. teen’s death points to gaps in youth mental-health supports: rep

The integrated child and youth (ICY) teams will have a multidisciplinary approach and use culturally-safe practices that reflect the needs and interests of the students and members of the school community. The teams will be designed to fit the needs of each individual school district, and can include school counsellors, youth workers, mental health clinicians, elders, Indigenous support workers, psychologists, and family and peer support workers, among others.

School districts will be able to review and determine which resources are already present within their schools, and which needs to be added or supplemented, and can hire the appropriate staff from there.

The goal of these teams is to provide quicker, more direct support to the different needs of different students, and to allow a connection between different workers so students don’t have to retell their issues or stories to multiple people, potentially causing more trauma with each retelling.

“It is estimated that seventy per cent of mental health and substance use issues have their onset in these really young, formative years,” Darcy said. “And that’s why early intervention is absolutely critical and this is all about early intervention and prevention.”

Coast Mountains will be joined by Richmond and Okanagan-Similkameen School Districts in receiving this funding. The three are joining two others who received funding for the ICY teams last year, Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows and Comox Valley.

The development and hiring of the teams for Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows and Comox Valley had to be put on hold for COVID-19 restrictions this year, so it will be a while before the teams are brought into Coast Mountains.

The B.C. Government also announced this morning that funding for school-based mental health wellness programs will be boosted by $2 million, following the $8.8-million investment over three years that was announced last September. This means that for the 2020 to 2021 school year, school districts and independent school authorities will receive a total of $3.75 million to promote mental wellness and provide additional supports for students, families and educators.

READ MORE: 60% of Canadian workers would take a pay cut for better mental health support: survey

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

(Corrado Colombo photo)
Corrado Colombo, with his wife, Lucy. Colombo is from Italy, but met Kitimat born-and-raised Lucy on one of his annual fishing trips to Kitimat in the early 2000s.
In Our Valley: Corrado Colombo

Corrado Colombo never expected that an annual fishing trip to Kitimat would change his life

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross at his swearing in on Thursday (Nov. 26), with his wife, Tracey, left, mother, Frieda, and grandson, Parker. (Ellis Ross photo)
Ellis Ross sworn in as Skeena MLA

Ceremonies happening virtually rather than all in-person in Victoria

CityWest internet and other services are down in Kitimat as of Wednesday (Nov. 25) evening. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Services down for CityWest users in Kitimat

Services were put out due to a landslide cutting a fibre line

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism widespread

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Pellet plants deal with a lot of combustible materials. (File photo)
“Fire-related event” at Houston pellet plant injures three, shuts down operations

Rumours of an associated explosion cannot be confirmed at this time

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

Most Read