Access to mental health, substance use services made easier

NORTH VANCOUVER - An interactive map and improved patient intake process are two steps government is taking to make it faster and easier for families to get child and youth mental health (CYMH) and substance use services in B.C.

To view the online map of mental health and substance use services in British Columbia visit:
www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/cymhsu-servicesmap.html

Feedback from families who have received services in the past has indicated that it can be difficult to navigate the complex mental health system to find the services they need. Parents and youth can now visit the new interactive online map to find supports and services close to home, including the addresses of local service providers and locations of mental health intake offices that can see children, youth and their families without an appointment. The map lists approximately 350 services for children and youth throughout the province and includes information about:

  • Ministry of Children and Family Development CYMH services.
  • Ministry of Health child and youth substance use services.
  • Related services provided through:
    • Local health authorities.
    • Provincial health authorities.
    • Contracted Aboriginal agencies.

Minister of Children and Family Development Stephanie Cadieux and Minister of Health Terry Lake officially launched this new resource, including a demonstration of the map’s features at an event today at the HOpe Centre at Lions Gate Hospital. The map, coupled with a new CYMH intake clinic process that has reduced wait times for families by as much as 12 weeks, is helping children and youth get the help they need sooner.

In January 2014, the Ministry of Children and Family Development launched a revised intake process for CYMH services at 20 of its offices on a trial basis. The new intake clinic allows clients and their families to meet directly with a clinician and discuss a plan for services or treatment during their initial visit. This helps ensure that families know immediately if they qualify for ministry CYMH services.

Over the first six months of the trial, more than 95% of respondents to a client satisfaction poll reported they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the services they received. Thanks to the new model, wait times have been drastically reduced and clients can now find out if they are eligible for child and youth mental health services, usually the same day as their assessment, compared to the previous wait time of up to 12 weeks. As a result of this success, the ministry is expanding its revised intake process to the remaining 52 offices around the province by April 2015.

Map Mental Health & Substance Use

The online map and improved intake process are a direct response to client feedback and a recommendation outlined in the Representative for Children and Youth’s April 2013 report Still Waiting: First-hand Experiences with Youth Mental Health Services in B.C. to make it easier for families to navigate and access services within the mental health and substance use system.

Quotes:

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development -

“We understand it can be frustrating and overwhelming for families when they need to find and access mental health and substance use services. This map, and the expansion of the new child and youth mental health intake process will go a long way to ease those frustrations and help to ensure vulnerable children and youth get the supports they need as soon as possible.”

Terry Lake, Health Minister -

“While B.C. has a comprehensive system of community-based resources for children and youth living with mental health or substance use challenges, we understand that families sometimes face challenges in determining the best local resources for their child. This map provides a ‘one-stop shop’ for B.C. families trying to navigate the system of mental health and substance use supports and services around the province.”

Keli Anderson, founder and ambassador for the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health -

“Trying to reach any destination without instructions or a map is difficult. This is even more difficult for families who are trying to find help for their kids who are struggling with mental health challenges. It is great to see that families now have a map to assist them in their journey.”

Quick Facts:

  • Currently, more than 29,000 children and youth receive community mental health services annually - more than double the number who received services in 2003.
  • Nearly 84,000 children and youth age 4-17 suffer from mental health issues in British Columbia.
  • The Ministry of Health spent approximately $1.38 billion to address mental health and substance use issues in 2013-14. This is an approximate increase of 63% over the 2000-01 total of $851.4 million.
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development invests approximately $93 million annually to address child and youth mental health and substance use challenges in B.C.
  • Three-quarters of that funding ($70 million) is spent on community-based mental health services; the remainder is spent on specialized services, including the Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre, mental health services, and substance use treatment for youth involved in the justice system.
  • The interactive map was developed through a partnership between the ministries of Children and Family Development and Health, along with the Federation of Community and Social Services, the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids’ Mental Health, and youth and parents who have accessed child and youth mental health and substance use services in the past.

Learn More:

To view the online map of mental health and substance use services in B.C. visit:www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/cymhsu-servicesmap.html

To find out more about child and youth mental health and substance use visit:www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/mental_health/index.htm

To find out more about general mental health and substance use visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/

To view the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Minds, Healthy People website and report visit:www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/about.html

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