Health

Increased Mental Health and Substance Use Support for Youth in Greater Vancouver

Continued investment from the province will help youth throughout Metro Vancouver access more free mental health and substance use support.

The BC government has invested $1.73 million in Dan’s Legacy Foundation to support 15 health professionals and other workers who provide youth mental health and substance use, including therapists, social workers and youth workers. This investment will help more than 600 young people through core counseling and enveloping programs, such as Indigenous cultural workshops, fitness and vocational skills training.

“When a young person makes the bold decision to come forward and seek help, we want the young person to meet them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, secretary of state for Mental Health and Addictions. “Dan’s Legacy colleagues and therapists are helping young people avoid overdose and survive, and we’re honored to fund their life-saving work.”

Dan’s Legacy Foundation provides trauma-informed and culturally sensitive counseling and intervention programs to youth with mental health and substance abuse problems, especially young adults who face barriers to accessing treatment. This funding builds on the government’s $1.35 million investment for Dan’s Legacy in 2021 and ensures that the foundation’s essential services reach more young people who need them.

“We know there is a small opportunity to be there for the youth when they ask for help, and this county funding allows us to increase our capacity to fully meet that need,” said Barbara Coates, executive director of Dan’s Legacy Foundation. “We thank Secretary Malcolmson and the county for their continued and important support.”

Increasing support for youth living with mental health and substance use challenges is integral to A Pathway to Hope, BC’s roadmap for building the comprehensive system of mental health and substance abuse treatment British Columbians deserve.

Quotes:

Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley –

“Dan’s Legacy Foundation provides such important support services to the youth in our community. I am grateful and confident that this investment will help more young people realize their full potential while providing them with the right support to do so.”

Tom Littlewood, Program Director, Dan’s Legacy

“Since 2016, we will have worked with more than 1,500 young people in Metro Vancouver – 600 in the past year alone. Not only will we see young people in hospital when they ask for help, but we will be able to divert them from a trip to an emergency in many cases. With immediate intervention, our therapist can stabilize the youth or facilitate a trip to the hospital without the situation becoming a critical incident.”

Destiny Newton, client, Dan’s Legacy –

“Dan’s Legacy has given me the strength to keep fighting, to keep moving forward. They gave me hope at a time when I thought I wouldn’t make it. Some people don’t have a good start, some don’t have the support or the love they deserve. The only time you look down on someone is when you help them get back up, just like Dan’s Legacy did for me. That’s what Dan’s Legacy is all about; helping young people and not letting them fall through the chasms of the world we live in today.”

Quick Facts:

  • During the pandemic, Dan’s Legacy Foundation has seen a 50% increase in the number of youth seeking help.
  • In 2021, 450 young people used the services of Dan’s Legacy.
  • Young people can access services through self-referral, a referral from friends and family, or through partnerships with other community organizations offering housing, education, rehabilitation or assessment.

Learn more:

Dan’s Legacy Foundation: https://danslegacy.com/

Read more about A Pathway to Hope, our government’s vision for mental health and substance abuse treatment in BC:
https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2021MMHA0049-001787

Inexpensive and Free Mental Health Support:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/managing-your-health/mental-health-substance-use/virtual-mental-health-supports

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