The all-party Select Standing Committee on Children and Youth has issued its unanimous report on child and youth mental health with 23 recommendations to strengthen child and youth mental health services in British Columbia. The committee’s recommendations are the result of two years of work and public consultations with individuals, experts, and organizations involved in the delivery of child and youth mental health services.
The CBC reported that 140,000 children in the province need some form of mental health intervention, but only 25 to 30 per cent of them receive services from the public system, according to Bev Gutray, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association’s B.C. chapter.
The report is recommending a new Minister for Mental Health “to provide leadership and accountability and more school- and community-based hubs where mental health professionals work together in child- and youth-friendly settings.”
“Children, youth, and their families are suffering as a result of gaps and weaknesses in services,” added deputy chair Doug Donaldson. “The Committee is recommending a coordinated, integrated system where there are ‘one child, one file’ services for children, youth, and young adults that includes targets where assessments occur within 30 days and treatment within the next 30 days.”