More mental-health, substance-use supports for youth in Greater Vancouver

More mental-health, substance-use supports for youth in Greater Vancouver

News Release Vancouver Saturday, November 5, 2022 9:00 AM 

Continued investment from the Province will help young people throughout Metro Vancouver access more free mental-health and substance-use supports.

The Government of B.C. has invested $1.73 million in Dan’s Legacy Foundation to support 15 health-care and other workers who provide youth with mental-health and substance-use services, including therapists, social workers and youth outreach workers. This investment will help more than 600 youth through core counselling and wraparound programs, such as Indigenous cultural workshops, fitness and job-skills training.

“When a young person makes the courageous decision to come forward and get help, we want supports to meet them,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Dan’s Legacy’s peer workers and therapists help youth prevent and survive overdose, and we are honoured to fund their life-saving work.”

Dan’s Legacy Foundation provides trauma-informed and culturally sensitive counselling and intervention programs to youth with mental-health and addictions challenges, particularly young adults facing barriers to accessing treatment. This funding builds on the government’s $1.35-million investment for Dan’s Legacy in 2021 and ensures the foundation’s vital services reach more young people who need them.

“We know there’s a small window of opportunity to be there for the youth when they ask for help, and this funding from the Province allows us to increase our capacity to fully meet that need,” said Barbara Coates, executive director, Dan’s Legacy Foundation. “We thank Minister Malcolmson and the Province for their continued and significant support.”

Enhancing supports for youth living with mental-health and substance-use challenges is an integral part of A Pathway to Hope, B.C.’s roadmap for building the comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care that British Columbians deserve.


Andrew Mercier, MLA for Langley

“Dan’s Legacy Foundation provides such important support services for the young people in our community. I am grateful and confident that this investment will help more youth realize their full potential, while providing them the appropriate supports to do so.”

Tom Littlewood, program director, Dan’s Legacy

“Since 2016, we will have worked with over 1,500 youth in Metro Vancouver – 600 in the last year alone. Not only will we see youth in hospital when they’re asking for help, but we will be able to divert them from a trip to emergency in many cases as well. With immediate intervention, our therapist can either stabilize the youth or facilitate a trip to the hospital without the situation becoming a critical incident.”

Destiny Newton, client, Dan’s Legacy

“Dan’s Legacy has given me the strength to keep fighting, to keep moving forward. They have given me hope in a time when I thought I wasn’t going to make it. Some people don’t have a good start, some don’t have support or the love that they deserve. The only time you should be looking down on someone is when you’re helping them get back up, just like Dan’s Legacy has done for me. That’s what Dan’s Legacy is all about; helping youth and not letting them fall through the cracks of the world we live in today.”

Quick Facts:

  • During the pandemic, Dan’s Legacy Foundation has seen a 50% increase in the number of youth reaching out for help.
  • In 2021, 450 young people accessed Dan’s Legacy’s services.
  • Youth can access services through a self-referral, a referral from friends and family or through partnerships with other community-based organizations offering housing, education, recovery or assessment.

Learn More: Dan’s Legacy Foundation:

Learn about A Pathway to Hope, our government’s vision for mental health and addictions care in B.C.:

Low- and no-cost mental-health supports: substance-use/virtual-mental-health-supports 

Media Contacts Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions Communications 250-882-9054