The B.C. government has announced that it is investing in an expansion of mental health supports for women affected by trauma and violence.
The Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions says it is investing $50,000 for the Bridges for Women Society to provide women and families throughout B.C. with expanded trauma counselling, recovery and referral supports.
“For too long, women affected by violence have struggled to access the mental health supports they need to rebuild their lives,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “That’s why we are expanding services for women and their families who have not only experienced greater risk of violence, but who are also dealing with many added challenges due to the pandemic. I am grateful to Bridges for Women Society for partnering with us to support women and their families through a very difficult time in their lives.”
The Bridges for Women Society provides trauma-informed counselling and healing-focused programs to self-identified women, non-binary people, and two-spirit people who identify with the women’s community. The government also says the society “offers programs that are trauma-informed” and aims to meet woman “where they are, without judgment or expectation.”
According to the ministry, 51 per cent of women in B.C. report that their mental health has worsened during the pandemic. The government also emphasizes that women have also experienced increased risk of intimate partner violence, economic stress and increased caregiving responsibilities during COVID-19.
“Women have been greatly impacted by the pandemic, some experiencing an increased risk of violence and trauma,” said Grace Lore, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity and MLA for Victoria-Beacon Hill. “This investment will benefit women in B.C. by providing the vital mental health services they need to recover.”
Gwen Davies, clinical counselling coordinator with Bridges for Women Society adds that this funding will help the society support women to move into the world with “renewed confidence.”
For information on the Bridges Employment Program, phone 250 385-7410 or email [email protected]