VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — The provincial government announced Friday it is investing $16 million in more treatment and recovery beds to help people struggling with drug addictions.
The funding is also meant to support existing services challenged by COVID-19, according to the province.
“British Columbians are facing two public health emergencies and pressures from COVID-19 have tragically resulted in more lives lost to overdose,” Judy Darcy, minister of Mental Health and Addictions, says in a release.
“We are working at full speed to stem the tide of these dual crises and connect more people to the treatment and recovery services they need.”
Of the funding, $13.5 million will go towards increasing the number of treatment and recovery beds in B.C. by 50 to 70 over the next three years.
Funding will be directed through the Canadian Mental Health Association to deliver community grants – in consultation with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions and health authorities – and will prioritize underserved communities.
This investment will add 50 to 70 new beds to improve access to treatment and recovery services and connect more people to the help they need. This represents just one more step towards building the comprehensive system of #mentalhealth and addictions care everyone deserves. https://t.co/qkOWlSOT4m
— Judy Darcy (@DarcyJudy) July 10, 2020
Applications for grant funding open in August for eligible licensed and registered not-for-profit and private service providers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded the existing challenges and risks for those living with mental health and substance use problems,” sayss Jonny Morris, CEO Canadian Mental Health Association in B.C. “We welcome the opportunity to support the substance use treatment and recovery sector with more services and supports.”
Another $2.5 million will support operators of existing bed-based treatment and recovery services that have been challenged by COVID-19.
“In the midst of two health crises, it is imperative that a range of interventions, including treatment and recovery, be available to those suffering from addiction,” said Brenda Plant, chair of BC Addiction Recovery Association. “Increasing the number of recovery beds in B.C. will help our most vulnerable citizens access treatment and recovery more quickly, reduce wait times and ultimately, save lives.”