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CMHA applauds signing on to health accord as important step towards #b4stage4 system for mental health and addictions care in BC

Let?s ensure the $655 million 10-year investment puts mental health and addictions care on aÿmore equal footing with physical health care.

Today?s historic signing of a new 10-year, $1.4 billion health-funding agreement, with $655 million earmarked for mental health, recognizes the importance of valuing mental health and addictions care more equally with physical health care. The agreement also identifies separate resources of
$10 million from the federal government to help BC?s response to the opioid overdose crisis.

?This level of investment from the federal government, in partnership with our province, helps to course correct long-standing federal underinvestment in the mental health of Canadians,? says CMHA BC CEO Bev Gutray. ?Weÿhope this infusion of resources will empower the BC Government to set spending priorities so that we can helpÿBritish Columbians before they are in a Stage 4 mental health or addictions crisis. We applaud Minister TerryÿLake?s leadership in signing onto this important agreement.?

In October 2016, CMHA BC released its b4stage4 manifesto calling for investments in five main areas, designedÿto improve mental health and addiction care in BC. The new health accord agreement is an opportunity for actionÿin the following areas:

  1. Lets? focus investments in the prevention of mental health and addiction problems and early interventionÿwhen symptoms first arise ? people should be able to ?ask once ? and get help fast.?
  2. Let?s build an accessible, publicly funded addictions treatment system ? just like Minister Lake said duringÿthis morning?s press conference ? people who want addictions help should be able to access it whenÿneeded.
  3. Let?s strengthen recovery closer to home in community ? we know people are more likely to get better inÿcommunity, at home. Ensuring access to housing, employment supports, and peer support are all keyÿingredients.
  4. Let?s improve crisis care ? we are at Stage 4 when it comes to opioid overdoses and we lose over 500ÿpeople in BC to suicide each year. We can do better at helping people get the help they need when inÿcrisis.
  5. Let?s lead change in mental health and addictions ? this agreement is an opportunity for bold leadershipÿand vision. We are ready to help government with a plan to build a b4stage4 system of care for peopleÿliving with mental health and addictions problems.

To learn more about CMHA BC?s b4stage4 campaign, please visit

Media Contact:
Lorna Allen
Communications Coordinator ? Media, CMHA BC Division
P: 604-688-3234 ext. 6326

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