The Province is investing close to $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and services and to launch a few new supports for British Columbians. A significant portion of this funding will be directed to CMHA organizations in BC.
Read the news release from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.
This is a huge and important recognition of the importance of the work you do every day to support the mental health of the people in our communities, and it marks and important change in how the CMHA federation in BC works together. This is the first time in a very long time that a proposal has been jointly developed and submitted by all the Branches and BC Division to benefit all British Columbians. So, please join me in celebrating this important investment in the mental health of British Columbians, and this important step forward for the CMHA federation in BC.
We expect to have details of the funding that will flow to our Branch (and therefore the number and type of positions) by the end of next week. As soon as we have those details, we will be working a quickly as possible to implement the additional services. The programs and services that CMHA in BC is receiving funding for are outlined below.
- BounceBack – Expanding access to free online, video and phone-based coaching and skills-building program so that more seniors, adults and youth who are experiencing low mood, mild to moderate depression, anxiety, stress or worry, can receive care. Available now. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
CMHA’s BounceBack is a free skill-building program designed to help adults and youth, ages 15 and over, manage low mood, mild to moderate depression and anxiety, stress or worry. The program is delivered over the phone with a coach and through online videos, and participants have access to tools that will help manage low mood, stress, and anxiety.
Access to this evidence-based program, based on the principles of cognitive based therapy (CBT), will be expanded so that more adults and youth aged 15 and over can receive care without the need for a doctor’s referral. BounceBack is a particularly relevant tool in the current climate created by COVID-19 and builds personal resiliency that will be helpful for individuals now and in the future. The program is available now and is available in English, French, Mandarin, Cantonese and Punjabi.
- Virtual counselling services – Expanding access to virtual community counselling for individuals or groups at low or no cost. A list of community counselling agencies offering virtual support is online. Available now. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
Led by the Community Action Initiative, access will be expanded to virtual community counselling with the goal of reaching populations that do not have access to counselling opportunities. This expansion will provide grants to additional community organizations that offer no or low-cost counselling with priority given to organizations that serve vulnerable populations, including new immigrant and refugee organizations and those that specifically serve Indigenous populations.
Community counselling agencies in the network provide services in the following languages: English, Arabic, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, French, German, Farsi, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Bengali, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Cree, Michif, Polish, and sign language.
- Peer support and system navigation – Expanding access to virtual mentoring and supports by increasing the number of peer support and system navigation workers. (Canadian Mental Health Association). Available now at select Branches. More information about this will be available soon at www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
This initiative will add trained peer support and system navigation workers at local CMHA branches to provide mentoring and goal-oriented support to people seeking assistance. This service will be targeted to provide virtual access for seniors, adults, and youth from across British Columbia living with mental health and/or substance use problems and will support ongoing recovery and wellness while living with mental illness. Virtual peer support is already available at select CMHA branches and is available in English. The expansion will start over the coming weeks.
- Living Life to the Full Course – Launching access to free virtual Living Life to the Full peer support and practical skills courses for coping with stress, problem solving and boosting mood. The eight-week course is led by a trained facilitator. Registration available now. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
Living Life to the Full is an existing mental health promotion course delivered by CMHA and designed to help people deal with everyday life challenges and learn self-management skills using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) principles.
Virtual delivery of this popular program will be launched April 20 with a view to providing peer support and practical skills for coping with stress, problem-solving, and boosting mood. The course learnings can be applied to a range of everyday life situations.
Access to the course is also being expanded with up to an additional 100 courses being made available to respond to COVID-19.
The course is suitable for people of all ages – from youth to seniors. Each course is eight weeks long and includes access to online resources to help people manage low mood, stress, and anxiety and can accommodate up to 12 people. Course registration is available immediately and is facilitated in English and French with course materials in English, French, Chinese and Punjabi.
- B.C. COVID–19 mental health check-in – Launching an online mental health check-in alongside the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Available April 20. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19.
A new mental health check-in is under development to help you take a look at your mental health and wellness in light of COVID-19. This will provide a snapshot and recommended resources.
Mental health information related to COVID-19 has also been added to the CHMA website, with specific information on taking care of one’s mental health while staying at home, managing anxiety and accessing help if required. This will assist seniors, adults and youth (aged 13-18) from across British Columbia wanting to better understand signs and symptoms related to mental health and well-being and connect to resources that can help. The new mental health check-in will be in place by April 20, 2020, and be available in English, French and Traditional Chinese.
- Online resource hub – Expanding online resources to include information to improve psychological and social supports and provide strategies to help front-line workers take care of their mental health and well-being. Available April 20. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
This partnership initiative with SafeCare BC will provide online training and education resources to improve psychological health and wellbeing for healthcare workers responding to COVID-19. It will initially target long-term care workers, long-term care managers, and home support workers. The initiative provides resources designed to support workplace mental health and resilience for healthcare workers responding to acutely stressful environments. These include recommended steps to improve
psychological and social supports for workers, strategies to take care of mental health and wellbeing, and connections to counselling, peer support, and other mental health service providers. This new resource will be available on April 20, 2020.
- Virtual peer support service – Launching a phone and text-based peer support service, staffed by former long-term care and home support workers, to provide confidential emotional support to current workers, and referrals to other services and supports. Available May 2020. For more information, visit: www.cmha.bc.ca/covid-19
CMHA will work with SafeCare BC and other healthcare partners to provide a virtual peer support service for frontline health care workers, initially targeting continuing care providers, including long-term care and home support workers.
The program will launch a phone and text-based peer support service, staffed by former continuing care providers, to provide confidential emotional support to current workers, and referrals to other services and supports. For healthcare workers needing more support, the virtual peer support service will provide guided referral to other services, including BounceBack, employee and family assistance programs, the Mobile Response Team, or other available supports. Additional information will be provided on the CMHA website as this service comes online.