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Provincial Mental Health & Substance Use Network

The Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Network (the Network) aims to address long-standing system level challenges experienced by people in British Columbia with complex mental health, substance use (MHSU), and other issues.

Who we are and what we do

In the context of a fragmented, complex system of care, generating innovative solutions to better meet people’s needs requires input from diverse perspectives along the continuum of care.

The Network brings together a wide range of perspectives, including from people with lived and living expertise, service and support providers, and additional partners across various sectors, regions and programs who support people with complex MHSU and other issues. The Network is evidenced-based, person-centered, and non-hierarchal in its approach.

Read more about the Network in our quarterly newsletters

How the Network contributes to innovation 

Innovation requires the creation of new knowledge and may occur through two simple processes: combination and exchange. Networks, by their nature, can facilitate both by connecting new groups and individuals dynamically over time, as these processes are fundamentally embedded relationships. This type of collaboration creates opportunities for dialogue, exchange, reflection, combination and synergy, and accelerates the creation of new knowledge toward innovative solutions.

The Network also connects various other system-level efforts to do all of the above as well as drive scalability, and optimize impact.

Our objectives

  • Identify unmet needs and challenges faced by individuals with mental health, substance use, and other complex care needs.
  • Foster active participation, connection, and collaboration among diverse partners across sectors, disciplines, regions, and perspectives.
  • Facilitate knowledge translation and exchange through sharing experience, expertise, and insights to problem solve and generate innovative solutions that make a difference.
  • Support implementation of evidence-informed policies and practices that improve access, navigation, and quality of services and supports to better meet people's needs and preferences.
  • Promote evaluation, continuous learning and improvement to enhance service planning and the delivery of services and supports.

Our principles

  • Person-centred: Activities are informed by both the expertise of people with lived and living expertise, and aligned with provincial priorities.
  • Cultural safety and humility: Respect, value and include the cultural diversity rights, views, and experiences of Indigenous persons in membership and activities, and in the delivery of culturally appropriate health services.
  • Collective decision-making: Share both responsibility and participation in decision-making, communication, determination and advancement of our activities among members.
  • Equitable and diverse engagement: Collaborate, partner, and seek representation from a range of individuals, sectors and regions to ensure diverse perspectives, expertise, and insights. To co-create and co-implement solutions to improve mental health and substance use services for people with complex needs.


  • Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use ECHO: a collaborative learning environment for service providers who support people with complex mental health and substance use issues, with interactive case scenario discussion and recommendations.
  • Provincial Mental Health and Substance Use Learning Rounds: Bi-weekly presentations specific to mental health and substance use treatment to supporting staff, service providers, researchers and partners to better understand and address specific issues.
  • Concurrent Disorders Toolkit: Online toolkit for anyone supporting people with mental health or substance use issues, to support self-assessment of skills and knowledge, tailored learning goals for professional development, and courses and resources for learning.
  • Dialogue + Action Sessions: In-person opportunities for connection and collaboration among  people with lived/ living expertise and other diverse representatives that support people with complex MHSU needs along the continuum of care. The sessions will be hosted in each of the regional health authorities and aim to promote co-development innovative solutions toward system improvements.


Needs Assessment 

  • Needs assessment overview: Diagram of Network needs assessment components
  • Dialogue + Action Report: Engagement of diverse representatives along the continuum intended to create regionally relevant opportunities for dialogue, exchange, reflection, combination and synergy (2023) (Coming soon)
  • Executive summary to inform ECHO planning: High level summary of insights gained from engagement with PWLLE, frontline staff and leaders in Complex Care Housing (CCH) settings (2023)
  • Learning needs in CCH: Learning needs and preferences identified from engagements with frontline staff in CCH settings (2023)
  • "Be Bold. Make Changes." LEAP Report: Contains perspectives from Lived Experience Advisors and Partners (LEAP) on unmet needs and issues experienced by people with lived/ living expertise of complex mental health and substance use (2023)
  • CCH workforce capacity initiatives: An overview of projects aimed at building workforce capacity in complex care housing settings, including those supported by the Network needs assessment (2023) 

Conferences and events

SOURCE: Provincial Mental Health & Substance Use Network ( )
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