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Mental Health Literacy

Health literacy means the ability to gain access to, understand, and use information in ways that promote and maintain good health. Mental health literacy refers to the knowledge, beliefs, and abilities that support the prevention, recognition, and / or management of mental health and substance use challenges. Specifically, mental health literacy includes:

A high public level of mental health literacy would make early identification and appropriate intervention for mental health and substance use challenges more likely. Mental health literacy is also important for reducing stigma – an issue that can prevent help-seeking and promote discrimination against people identified as having a mental health or substance use disorder.

The Mental Health Literacy portfolio of the BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services agency is guided by the Integrated Strategy to Promote Health Literacy in Mental Health and Addiction in BC The portfolio aims to enhance the mental health literacy of children, youth and families across British Columbia (BC) through a number of initiatives across a range of settings and channels. These initiatives include:

In addition, the Provincial Child and Youth Healthy Living Initiative aims to improve healthy lifestyle behaviours among children, youth and their families who deal with mental health and substance use challenges throughout BC. The Mental Health Literacy portfolio also includes the management of a number of provincial networks that aim to support knowledge exchange across the province. The Mental Health Literacy team works in collaboration with the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre on a number of resources, initiatives and events. Resources developed by the Mental Health Literacy team are available on the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre website.

Featured Mental Health Literacy Resources (examples only)

Health Literacy Resources

Recent BCMHSUS Publications

Contact Us

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
Email: feedback@bcmhs.bc.ca