KELOWNA – Kelowna families dealing with mental health and/or substance use issues will receive increased support, thanks to $200,000 in Community Action Initiative grants from the B.C. government.

The funding will support the Caring for the Caregivers (CFTC) program offered by the Canadian Mental Health Association (Kelowna and District) which offers peer groups, service referrals, case co-ordination, and access to professional therapy and primary care services. This program supports parents and caregivers of children, youth and dependent adults in the Kelowna area that are experiencing mental illness and/or substance use problems.

“Mental illness doesn’t just affect one person – it affects their family and friends as well,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “This CMHA program offers families the support and care they need.”

“One in five British Columbians struggles to cope with a mental health diagnosis or substance abuse challenge,” says Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. “It’s great to know the CMHA is always there to help, not only in Kelowna but across British Columbia.”

“These community-based supports provide a direct, positive impact on families affected by these challenges,” says Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson. “Congratulations to our local CMHA on this grant, and thank you for the great work that you do.”

The Community Action Initiative (CAI), a province-wide program that supports mental health and substance use groups across B.C., recently awarded the service innovation grants to 16 community-based projects that promote positive mental health for British Columbians.

To date, CAI has funded 227 grants totalling $9.6 million that serve a mix of 79 rural, urban, remote, and Aboriginal communities in British Columbia. A detailed list of grants can be viewed at: http://www.communityactioninitiative.ca/about-the-cai/funded-projects/