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More mental health, substance-use service support coming to Nanaimo-Ladysmith schools

B.C. government announces new multi-disciplinary teams for School District 68
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district will have more mental health and substance-use service support for students across the district, says the B.C. government.

In a press release, the B.C. Ministry of Health and Addictions said integrated child and youth teams will be expanded and “connect children, young people and families to counselling, peer and cultural supports, meeting young people where they feel most comfortable: in schools, homes or community settings.”

Teams will include clinical counsellors, youth substance-use clinicians, mental health clinicians, Indigenous elders and Indigenous youth support workers, the press release noted.

Government ministers said it is important to provide such supports for children.

“Integrated child and youth teams fill gaps and better co-ordinate mental health, wellness and substance-use care in schools and in the community, making it easier for families to access the help their child needs,” said Jennifer Whiteside, B.C. minister of mental health and addictions, in the press release.

Rachna Singh, B.C. minister of education and child care, said the services are something that has been requested.

“We have heard from students how important their mental health is to their educational success and overall health and well-being,” she said in the press release. “Having the integrated child and youth teams working so closely with districts means that children, youth and families will have greater access to additional supports during the vulnerable years of their child’s life.”

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