Mental health getting funding

When the Vancouver Island Health Authority board came to the Valley last week, it brought with it the announcement of additional funding for mental health services in this region.

Howard Waldner, president and CEO of the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), pledged an additional $285,000 in funding for mental health and addictions services in the Comox Valley in the coming year during VIHA’s board meeting in Courtenay.

“As with all communities on Vancouver Island, there are many challenges facing both the population and the health-care service in relation to mental health and addictions,” said Waldner.

Earlier this year, VIHA announced an additional $100,000 in base funding for additional women’s detox beds, as well as some mental health seniors support in the Comox Valley.

“We know, however, that funding has not solved all our problems, and, in fact, any amount of funding would not solve all the problems of mental health and addictions issues,” said Waldner. “But we know there continue to be very significant mental health and addictions needs on the North Island and in the Comox Valley.”

VIHA will also provide additional mental health and addictions funding in Campbell River this year.

“We know that communities outside of of Nanaimo and Victoria have, at times, felt under-served in the areas of mental health services, and, to a large extent, that’s actually true,” said Waldner. “VIHA has, in making these announcements, taken steps to provide new and better mental health services up and down the Island.”

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