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Coast Mental Health pushes for funding amid COVID-19 struggles

Last Updated Oct 9, 2020 at 9:42 am PDT

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Coast Mental Health is asking governments for funding in order to continue helping those in need

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on all non-profits

Coast Mental Health has launched its #FundMentalHealth campaign to mark World Mental Health Day

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A local charity is once again pushing government for additional funding.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for many non-profits, and Coast Mental Health is no exception.

World Mental Health Day is on Saturday, and Coast is marking the occasion with a fresh appeal for support with its new #FundMentalHealth campaign.

“The pandemic has caused difficulty for many non-profit support people,” Coast CEO Darrell Burnham says. “Investment in mental health is an economic driver. It actually makes a difference to our society as we go forward and, frankly, the pandemic has made everything worse.”

Coast Mental Health provides housing, support, and employment programs to more than 5,200 people on the Lower Mainland.

Burnham admits communities can’t survive the pandemic by themselves, and that the help needs to come from all levels of government for support.

“I don’t think one level, certainly a civic level of government, a city, can do it alone, but they can be a catalyst for things to happen,” he tells NEWS 1130.

Burnham wants to see funding for permanent housing with mental health supports, access to food programs for those in need, life-saving harm reduction services, and employment for those living with mental illness — something he says every family has been touched by in one way or another.

He would also like to see the technology gap among non-profits bridged.

“There’s a great opportunity to use more virtual and Internet-based services and supports but we do need the support to get the technology base of the average non-profit up so we can do that successfully.”