What we heard from communities
In Spring and Summer 2023 CMHA BC encouraged members of the communities across BC to connect with us and recommend your community for a Peer Assisted Care Team.
When the Province of BC announced funding for 10 community-led teams administered by CMHA BC, CMHA BC created a digital space for community members, organizations, and municipalities to write to us and describe their community mental health eco-systems and their understanding of how PACT would benefit their community. This process reiterated to CMHA BC how unique and diverse communities are across BC, and how important crisis care reform is in the province.
We received over 200+ responses and want to thank everyone for sharing their perspectives. We heard from a wide range of communities in British Columbia. Here is some of what we heard:
- “Our community is experiencing a steady increase in the number of vulnerable citizens that require Mental Health and Addictions support.”
- “While the services that are available are growing slowly, the Health system is overwhelmed with long wait times for ongoing service and overloaded case workers.”
- “There is a need for supports with mental health, housing, food insecurity, addictions, and crisis intervention.”
- “Our community has a strong network of organizations providing outreach services and crisis response, as well as, the involvement of people with lived/living experience of mental health and substance use challenges. Outreach services tend to be intermittent/ad-hoc despite the very best of intentions. We have a strong community network and collaborative approach and we would definitely benefit from and support a PACT being established in our community.”
- “We call crisis lines to mitigate large feelings but the feelings return when we get off the phone. We are afraid that we will get the police called on us as other community members have when calling crisis lines. We deserve safe community care.”
We see the growing need for mental health supports and interventions across the province and Peer Assisted Care Teams are part of the mental health eco-system transformation that we are leading together with community-led organizations and the Province of BC.
We look forward to working in partnership with Province to expand PACT to 4 more communities in BC, as well as to support their work in ensuring Indigenous-led teams feature across BC’s crisis care landscape.
To learn more, connect with us at PACT@cmha.bc.ca