THE Government of B.C. has invested $5 million in the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society (BCSS), a non-profit organization that provides services, programs and a provincewide family support system to those living with schizophrenia, psychosis and other persistent mental illnesses.
“People and families living with schizophrenia and psychosis tell me it can be challenging to find the services and supports to help,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, on Tuesday. “That’s why our government is funding $5 million for the BC Schizophrenia Society to help people and their families get the support they need.”
Funding will be used to increase access to services for families in rural, northern and under-served areas throughout the province, expand partnerships with Indigenous communities. It will also enhance the society’s Kids and Teens in Control program, which provides support to children and youth affected by family mental illness.
The society also hopes to reduce stigma surrounding serious mental illness by continuing its podcast and expanding its mental-health literacy programming.
“We are truly grateful for our partnership with the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions helping us expand and enhance our services to families in rural, northern and under-served areas across B.C.,” said Faydra Aldridge, CEO, BC Schizophrenia Society. “Every day, our front-line staff speak with family members needing support and wanting to learn more about serious mental illness. They are looking for what resources are available for their loved ones. The outcomes of our work can be unmeasurable for the individual living with a mental illness, their family members and caregivers.”
Shelley P., a person with lived experience, said: “I am so grateful for this organization! When I called BCSS, my life took an immediate turn for the better. The BCSS was so welcoming, so understanding, so knowledgeable, and so non-judgmental that I was immediately relieved. My adult son lives with a severe and persistent mental illness. I personally have benefited so much. As far as I know, this is the only organization in Kamloops that has a support group for family members and caregivers of people living with mental illness. That is also what is so amazing about this organization. It welcomes everyone, regardless of their loved ones’ diagnoses, and they have the knowledge to help out the variety of challenges that we all go through.”
Learn about A Pathway to Hope, government’s vision for mental-health and addictions care in B.C.: https://news.gov.bc.ca/