Supports for young people living with psychosis expanded

VICTORIA, B.C. – The province is expanding supports for young people living with serious mental illnesses. The…

VICTORIA, B.C. – The province is expanding supports for young people living with serious mental illnesses.

The province is investing $53-million, over three years, for early psychosis intervention. This will expand any existing programs and increase access to treatment for those living with mental illness, as well as their families.

Funding will be dispersed through regional health authorities. Currently, specialized early psychosis intervention services are available in Vancouver, Victoria, Prince George, Kamloops, East Kootenay, South and Central Okanagan, and Fraser North, South and East. Locally, the closest intervention services for young people in the Peace Region would be Foundry in Prince George.

“Psychosis is a serious, treatable and often misunderstood illness that affects people from all walks of life,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“Getting treatment early can vastly improve the future of people living with psychosis. That’s why we are investing in early psychosis intervention, to support healing early on and help people and their families thrive.”

This funding investment will help to expand capacity at ten existing specialized programs across the province. Over the next three years, approximately 100 new full-time early psychosis care positions will be added.

At the ten locations across the province, new care providers like psychiatrists, nurses, case managers, and peer support workers will be added. Outreach to rural and remote communities will be done where appropriate.

“This is critical news that has the potential to make a life-changing difference for young people living with serious mental illness and their families,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“We know how important early intervention is to supporting youth and young people to thrive and reach their full potential. By funding early treatment for psychosis, our government is getting young people and their families the help they need sooner.”

Psychosis is a serious but treatable mental illness where those experiencing it have trouble deciding what is real and what isn’t. Around one in 30 British Columbians can experience psychosis.

More information can be found on the Early Psychosis intervention website.

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