Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, has issued the following year-end statement regarding mental-health supports during the holiday season:

“As we approach the end of the year and the holiday season, we need to remember to take special care of our mental health and the mental health of those around us.

“This past year has been very difficult for people in British Columbia. We have endured two public-health emergencies – the pandemic and the poisoned drug crisis, as well as floods, wildfires and heat waves.

“On top of these overlapping crises, Indigenous survivors and their families have had old traumas made fresh, as the country has grappled with the confirmation of what they already knew – that thousands of children were buried on the grounds of residential schools.

“These devastating tragedies have taken a high toll on our individual and collective mental health. I feel the weight of the grief and exhaustion people in our province are feeling – and the responsibility to make sure that people are supported through this difficult time.

“Even before the pandemic, government was working hard to build and expand mental-health and addictions services to support people throughout the province. After this year, it has never been clearer how much they are needed.

“The holiday season is a time to enjoy and celebrate, and it’s also a time to take special care of your mental health and the mental health of those close to you. If you need support during the holidays, or any time of the year, please reach out."

For a backgrounder with some of the services that can help, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BKG_MH_supports_holiday_season.pdf