B.C. expands supports for young adults with complex care needs in Richmond – BC


The B.C. government is expanding supports for young adults with complex mental health and substance abuse problems in Richmond.

The program will add 10 spaces to an existing Vancouver Coastal Health initiative called Transitioning Out Program (TOP), and include housing and health supports such as nurses and dedicated outreach workers.

One of the program’s key goals is helping young adults, aged 19-30, to exit the program and live independently.

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Global News spoke with the father of a young man in his 20s whose been fighting substance abuse for years, who said the program has been a major help with his son’s recovery.

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“PF,” whom Global News has agreed not to identify to protect his son’s identity, said the family has been trying to help him get treatment for a decade.

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“I’m so fortunate I have my son. He has no friends because they’re all dead from overdoses and laced drugs,” he said.

“It ain’t a picnic when you’re looking for your son under a tree … making sure he makes it through the day. ”

PF said it was hard to get help for his son, but that the expanded Transitioning Out Program has made a huge difference.

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“In addition to this housing need, we also offer this program of rehabilitation and care so they can develop life skills. We give them a bright start in being a fully fledged adult,” Vancouver Coastal Health mental health occupational therapist Andrew Neale said.

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Mental Health and Addictions Minister Jennifer Whiteside said expanding the program was a recognition of the value of early intervention.

“We know mental health issues tend to present before the age of 25,” she said.

“It’s why it’s so important to have early prevention and have prevention strategies to support youth.”

For PF, the program marks the first time in a a long time that he and his family have had hope.

“It’s a hard journey. Don’t give up, look for any bit of compassion you can find in there,” he said.

“That seems to be key to bringing around my son … it’s a really lonesome thing to do.”

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