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Province investing $4.2 million for mental health support

The B.C. government is providing funds to help ensure British Columbians will be able to access free or low-cost counselling services province-wide.

Specifically, the Circle of Indigenous Nation Society in Castlegar will be receiving funds to help more people in the West Kootenay and Boundary area.

Provincial officials said they are focusing on improving access to rural, remote and Indigenous communities.

Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, said in a press release that the pandemic, toxic drug crisis and extreme weather events have increased the need for services.

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“When people make the brave decision to seek help for their mental health and well-being, we want them met with care, regardless of their location or pocketbook. In the early days of the pandemic, community counselling groups helped us transform mental-health care delivery and, with our funding, reached thousands of people,” said Malcolmson.

“I am grateful to these community counselling agencies for the vital work they do to meet people in their time of need and to build trust and ongoing connections. With today’s funding announcement, that care continues and broadens.”

According to provincial officials, investments made since 2019 have helped nearly 25,000 people access affordable counselling.

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