NDP MLAs say community counselling services will be extended for people in Vancouver

January 27, 2022 at 11:33 am  Politics, Provincial

VANCOUVER – New Democrat MLAs Spencer Chandra Herbert, George Heyman, Melanie Mark and Niki Sharma say that people in Vancouver will continue to benefit from low and no-cost counselling services with the extension of funding for local community agencies.

“The past couple years have been incredibly challenging for all of us and now more than ever, it’s important for people to know that help will be there for them when they need someone to talk to,” said Melanie Mark, MLA for Vancouver-Mount Pleasant. “Our government knows what a difference these agencies make to people and we are proud to support their work to make mental health resources available to everyone.”

The New Democrat government is investing $4.2 million to support this ongoing service for people across the province. The following agencies are among 49 in B.C. that are receiving extended funding to continue their community counselling service:

  • Association of Neighbourhood Houses BC, DBA Gordon Neighbourhood House
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, Vancouver-Fraser Branch
  • Jewish Family Services
  • PACE Society
  • REACH Community Health Centre
  • S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
  • Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture
  • Watari Counselling and Support Services

This funding builds on investments that New Democrats have been making since 2019 to reduce barriers to mental-health supports for people throughout the province. During the pandemic, additional funding was provided to more community counselling organizations to help them offer these vital services virtually. Since 2019, over 100,000 counselling sessions have been provided to people as a result.

Expansion of affordable community counselling services is one way government is improving access and quality of care, and it is a key pillar outlined in A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for creating a seamless, comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care that works for everyone.

Quotes:

“People deserve to get the help they need, when they need it. For too long, financial barriers have stopped people from reaching out when they needed to talk. I’m proud that our government is adding resources and strengthening our mental health system.”

Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End

“With this funding, organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association in my riding will continue to be able to offer accessible counselling to reduce gaps in mental health services. There is still much more to do and our government is committed to bringing high quality, affordable mental health care to everyone in need.”

George Heyman, MLA for Vancouver-Fairview

“When people are struggling, the last thing they need is to worry about the cost of counselling. Our government is working to create a system of care where everyone can get the help they need and with the help of organizations like the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture, together, we can make sure that everyone gets the resources they need.”

Niki Sharma, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022MMHA0006-000115

For a complete list of all funded community counselling agencies, visit:  https://caibc.ca/ccfprofiles/

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