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B.C. helps people with complex needs through long-term recovery

February 16, 2023 at 10:51 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

More people with complex needs can get improved employment supports on their path to long-term recovery, health and wellness, thanks to an $8.2-million provincial grant to the Canadian Mental Health Association of British Columbia.

The Links to Employment program is for people who have multiple and persistent barriers to employment, such as challenges with mental or physical health, addictions and disabilities. The program provides a full range of supports and services, including employment, delivered in a primary-care setting.

“We all want folks to have options for employment and service to build better lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Programs like this help people feel valued and share in the province’s prosperity.”

Nearly 100 people have participated in Links to Employment since 2020. The funding will extend the Links to Employment program for three more years and expand the program into new B.C. communities, supporting up to an additional 250 people in their path to long-term recovery. The funding comes from the 2022-23 Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement.

“The program has been very supportive and thoughtful in listening to my needs and providing relevant resources,” said Mason, a Links to Employment program participant. “This program has been the deciding factor in my ability to return to work and reconnect with society again, despite my disabilities.”

Investing in Links to Employment is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready plan to make education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.


Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions –

“When people with mental-health or substance-use challenges reach out for help, we need services to meet their needs. Integrating social services in one place will break barriers and help more people get the help they need on their journey to wellness.”

Jonny Morris, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division –

“We are honoured to be part of the solution, co-designing care to improve health, social and employment outcomes for people with long-term experience of complex barriers to employment. We are excited to see the expansion of behavioural health-care integration with primary-care centres in more sites in B.C.”

Nicole LeMire, executive director, REACH Community Health Centre

“REACH is committed to supporting the mental, physical and emotional well-being of our community. REACH is delighted to have the CMHA Links program join our primary health-care team. Working together, we help patients with persistent and multiple barriers find meaningful and purposeful employment. Together, we have a positive impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of our most vulnerable patients.”

Susan Rechel, manager, Three Bridges Primary Care –

“Links to Employment has been an excellent and needed addition to our wraparound services available at Three Bridges. We look forward to continuing this work together to support our clients in the Vancouver Coastal Health area to live meaningful and satisfying lives through employment and education pursuits.”

Learn More:

For more information about the Links to Employment Program, visit:

Learn how WorkBC can help British Columbians find jobs that are right for them:

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