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Expanded psychosis support for youth in B.C.

The Government of B.C. is investing $53 million for early psychosis intervention to expand existing programs and increase access to treatment for young people.

“Psychosis is a serious, treatable and often misunderstood illness that affects people from all walks of life,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.

“Getting treatment early can vastly improve the future of people living with psychosis. That’s why we are investing in early psychosis intervention, to support healing early on and help people and their families thrive.”

The province said the funds will expand capacity at 10 specialized programs by adding approximately 100 new full-time early psychosis care positions province-wide.

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Care positions include psychiatrists, nurses, case managers and peer support workers.

The government said early psychosis intervention is evidence-based and focuses on strengths and family engagement. Treatment can include therapy and medication based on the person’s age and symptoms, with a goal of managing symptoms and supporting youth to return to work and school.

“This is critical news that has the potential to make a life-changing difference for young people living with serious mental illness and their families,” said Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development.

“We know how important early intervention is to supporting youth and young people to thrive and reach their full potential. By funding early treatment for psychosis, our government is getting young people and their families the help they need sooner.”

The province said funds will be distributed through all regional health authorities.

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