Mental health and substance use issues are complex. To help all British Columbians live healthy, meaningful lives, mental health and substance use organizations need to work together to share knowledge, resources and more. This belief is what led to the formation of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Substance Use Information (known as the BC Partners) in 2003. The coalition consists of these organizations:
The BC Partners work together to activate knowledge for healthier individuals, families and communities. They do this by providing mental health and substance use information, services and resources to people when they need it, and in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.
The partners envision a future where British Columbians have the information they need to make decisions about their mental health and substance use, can navigate the care system, are able to take control of their lives, and able to support each other through their mental health and addiction journeys.
The saying, "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts" applies here. By working together, the BC Partners increase their reach and impact in the communities they serve.
"This is a unique and remarkable group...It's been fascinating to watch the way that they have a respect and appreciation of each other while they are so different. Normally, collaborations happen with partners who are more equal or similar. These folks are quite different, but aligned around a common purpose." – Susan Good, executive director
Funding is provided by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Family Development through BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which provides oversight.
Together, the BC Partners contribute to ongoing knowledge exchange through several projects including the HeretoHelp information website and the quarterly publication Visions: BC's Mental Health and Substance Use Journal.
HeretoHelp, a key initiative of the BC Partners, is a website that provides relevant and up-to-date information, tools and resources related to mental health and substance use. It features plain-language resources, including info sheets, workbooks, and personal stories, as well as screening self-tests for people living with or supporting others with mental health and substance use issues.
HeretoHelp is a trusted source of mental health and substance use information in B.C. and beyond. From 2018 to 2019, the website had almost six million page views and resource downloads.
The BC Partners also produce the award-winning Visions: BC's Mental Health and Substance Use Journal. Published quarterly, the journal is a forum for sharing knowledge, perspectives and experiences on mental health and substance use or addiction. Content is written by and for people with lived experience with mental health and addiction, their families, service providers, leaders and decision makers. Topics include a range of recurring and trending issues such as recovery, wellness, work, housing and more.
Annual reports provide an overview of the activities and initiatives of the seven BC Partners in a fiscal year, and the impact of these initiatives on the lives of British Columbians.