The BC Government is providing $3 million worth of funding to the BC Schizophrenia Society to help them expand their provincial wide caregiver services. This funding will help the BCSS work with people who suffer from schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression and other severe mental illnesses. Prince George has a branch of the BCSS that has worked in the community for a number of years. Health Minister Terry Lake said "Caregivers provide immeasurable support to loved ones who are dealing with serious mental illness, and by helping take care of their own mental wellness, we are also helping them provide love and support to those struggling with these illnesses."
The caregiver network gives tools and knowledge to family members of people who are affected by these mental conditions. Groups like the BCSS have shown to be extremely cost-effective and beneficial to family members. BCSS also builds community capacity to respond to the needs of caregivers, and various other stakeholders in the community.
According to the Government of BC, the Ministry of Health invests approximately $1.42 billion every year in mental health and substance use services. This is an increase of 67% since from 2000-01.
According to the BCSS website, Schizophrenia is mental illness that affects 300,000 Canadians. It most often appears in men in their late teens or early twenties, while it appears in women in their late twenties or early thirties. Finding the causes for schizophrenia proves to be difficult as the cause and course of the illness is unique for each person.
By Grant Bachand (Twitter) @grantbachand