Camosun, VIU among schools receiving funding to train community mental health workers

Camosun College and Vancouver Island University are receiving funding to train community mental-health workers.

Citing the need for mental-health support during the pandemic, the provincial government said it is investing $800,000 as part of its $10-billion COVID-19 response. The money is being shared by four post-secondary institutions.

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VIU is receiving funding for 16 seats, while Camosun is getting funding for 20 seats. Castlegar’s Selkirk College and the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology are also being funded.

Community mental-health workers offer such things as support with shelter and addictions counselling, and promote mental and physical well-being.

“Government is working on ways to help B.C. recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training Anne Kang. “The funding we’re announcing [Monday] will support training for highly valued and respected positions working with some of B.C.’s most vulnerable citizens.

Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson said the addition of the training spots will have a lasting impact.

“It is institutions like Camosun College, their staff and students that are the foundation for building the comprehensive mental-health and substance-use system of care people need and deserve.”

— Times Colonist

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