Saturday, September 25, 2021
ADVT 
National

B.C. budget has millions for addiction treatment

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 20 Apr, 2021 10:13 PM
  • B.C. budget has millions for addiction treatment

British Columbia's finance minister says the government is making the largest investment in mental health and addictions in the province's history as part of Budget 2021.

Selina Robinson says the budget includes $500 million over three years to expand youth mental health programs, add 195 treatment and recovery beds for substance users and expand programs that respond to the overdose crisis.

That includes $330 million for treatment and recovery services for substance users, $152 million of which is dedicated to opioid treatment.

Robinson says emergency overdose prevention supports introduced during the pandemic will become permanent, such as the operation of new supervised consumption sites, Assertive Community Treatment teams and additional nursing supports.

The budget includes $75 million over three years to improve access to mental health services, including $53 million to expand early psychosis interventions, $14 million for the First Nations Health Authority and $8 million for eating disorder care and suicide prevention services.

In the five years since B.C. declared a public health emergency in the overdose crisis, more than 7,000 people have died, including record numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forced isolation of the pandemic and disruption of illicit drug supply chains only made the problem worse with 1,176 illicit drug overdoses recorded in 2020.

The budget also targets support for children and youth with $97 million to quadruple the number of integrated child and youth support teams and expand other services like school-based programs.

"We are investing in our youth, so that small problems don't grow larger," Robinson says in her budget speech.

The funding for youth will also see the number of Foundry Centres across the province grow from 11 locations to 23 by 2024. The centres offer a one-stop shop for young people to access mental health care, substance use services, primary care, social services and peer support.

Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said last week moves to decriminalize possession of drugs, increase safe drug supplies and provide recovery programs are important steps, but more must be done.

The mental health and addictions funding supports the province's 10-year Pathways to Hope strategy for care, Robinson says. The plan aims to move from a crisis-response approach to a system based on wellness promotion, prevention and early intervention.

"We are taking action to help end the tragedy playing out in communities around British Columbia," Robinson says. "Our plan meets the unprecedented need with a historic response."

 

MORE National ARTICLES

Budget: Support for low-wage workers, students

Budget: Support for low-wage workers, students

The first Liberal budget in more than two years aims to create nearly 500,000 training and work placements — 215,000 of them for students — in a bid to perk up the country's economic comeback.

Budget: Support for low-wage workers, students

Budget: Liberals top up affordable housing plan

Budget: Liberals top up affordable housing plan

Some 60 per cent of that will go toward construction of 4,500 new units under the so-called Rapid Housing Initiative, which seeks to provide vulnerable Canadians with affordable homes.

Budget: Liberals top up affordable housing plan

Families file lawsuit in fatal train derailment

Families file lawsuit in fatal train derailment

The claims filed in B.C. Supreme Court by the families of Paradis and Dockrell name the rail company, its CEO, board of directors, CP police and the minister of transport

Families file lawsuit in fatal train derailment

B.C. extends COVID-19 measures for 5 more weeks

B.C. extends COVID-19 measures for 5 more weeks

Dr. Henry says some restaurants and bars have pushed the limit by seating large numbers of people on patios and some gyms have also not been following the guidelines.

B.C. extends COVID-19 measures for 5 more weeks

Budget: Aid to fight military sex misconduct

Budget: Aid to fight military sex misconduct

The budget plan says the new money will be used to increase victim support services, develop new prevention training and bring more independent oversight of the military’s handling of complaints.

Budget: Aid to fight military sex misconduct

Pandemic budget extends COVID-19 aid until fall

Pandemic budget extends COVID-19 aid until fall

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s first crack at a budget plan is also widely viewed as a pre-election platform with more than $100 million in new spending over the next three years targeting a wide variety of voters, from seniors and their caregivers, to parents and business owners.

Pandemic budget extends COVID-19 aid until fall