KELOWNA – The Community Action Initiative (CAI), a province-wide program that supports mental health and substance use projects and innovation in B.C., is awarding $200,000 to support the Canadian Mental Health Association- Kelowna Branch’s program Connected by 25: Supporting Successful Transitions to Adulthood for Vulnerable Young People in Central Okanagan.

This project intends to address the needs of young people aged 16-24 in Central Okanagan by employing a youth navigator to help individuals develop transition plans, as well as a community capacity coordinator to build synergies between service providers and other stakeholders in the community to bridge the youth-adult service delivery gap.


“Unfortunately, the young are just as vulnerable to substance abuse and mental health issues. This funding will help support innovative and important projects and assist a lot of people here in Kelowna.” Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson

“Since 1971, the Canadian Mental Health Association has been providing programs to adults and seniors in Kelowna– and now they can continue their excellent work for vulnerable young people here in the Okanagan.” Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick

“The Canadian Mental Health Association has a long history of providing service to Kelowna and the Okanagan. This funding will help them continue to innovate and assist.” Westside-Kelowna MLA Ben Stewart

“Each of us has a role in supporting children, youth, adults and families facing mental health and substance use challenges. That’s why government invested $10-million to create the Community Action Initiative – to support collaborative, community-based activities to improve the mental health and well-being of all British Columbians.” Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development

“Our long term goal is to create local communities that are engaged in advancing innovative policy and practice around mental health and substance use. It’s not just about funding services. We want to change the way communities and government address mental health.” Barb Keith, Co-Chair of the CAI Leadership Council

Quick Facts:

  • The CAI is a key component of the Province’s comprehensive 10 year plan to address mental health and substance use across the lifespan in B.C. — Healthy Minds, Healthy People, which seeks to promote good mental health and prevent potential mental health and substance use problems for all children and youth, and facilitate earlier diagnosis and intervention for children and youth vulnerable to or struggling with mental health and substance use challenges.
  • The Community Action Initiative (CAI) was established through a $10-million grant from the Province of British Columbia, announced in June 2008.
  • This the second round of service innovation grants. The first seven grants were made in 2010. A total of $3.75 million has been invested in projects to date.

Learn More:

Community Action Initiative:

Grant recipients:

For information on Child and Youth Mental Health programs and services in B.C., go to: