More than $345,000 in provincial grant money was awarded to Vancouver Island mental health and addictions service providers to help offset the pressures of COVID-19.
In Greater Victoria, Saanich House, a six-bed facility, and Recovery Works, a 10-bed facility each received $25,000.
On Vancouver Island 11 treatment service providers received provincial awards ranging from $25,000 to $45,000.
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions’ grant program, designed to support existing bed-based treatment across the province, received 53 eligible applications from around B.C., and awarded more than $2 million to providers financially challenged by the pandemic.
“The overlapping overdose and COVID-19 emergencies have created unparalleled challenges for British Columbians, especially those with substance use disorders,” said a statement from Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We are listening to the recovery community and working to ensure mental health and addictions services continue being there for people throughout the pandemic and after.”
Recovery services have remained open during the pandemic, but operating practises have changed, the ministry says. The grants are designed to offset those pressures and enable continued access vital in responding to B.C.’s overdose crisis.
The ministry says providing access to care is especially vital now, when the overdose crisis has been exacerbated by an increasing toxicity of unregulated streets drugs and impacts of the pandemic such as isolation and mental health challenges.
In July 2020, the province announced $13.5 million in funding for 50 to 70 new publicly-funded treatment and recovery beds for adults across the province. In August the province announced a $36 million investment to create 123 beds for youth substance-use treatment and withdrawal management.