Provincial Specialized Mental Health & Substance Use Networks
BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) has been providing the stewardship and facilitation of the Provincial Specialized Mental Health & Substance Use Networks since 2007. The networks include the BC Substance Use Network. In a stewardship role, BCMHSUS has provided contextual, relational and motivational leadership to support the system of networks.
When working within a complex adaptive system, networks are important mechanisms to support collaboration, especially in the planning, design and delivery of health care across services, sectors and systems. Networks support over 125 members across BC ministries, health authorities, non-government organizations, professional groups, and research and academic organizations. The overall goal for the system of networks was to build knowledge exchange (KE) infrastructure to: 1) Support the implementation of evidence-informed practice across programs, and 2) Strengthen the mental health and substance use systems to better serve clients and families in BC.
The system of networks has a number of knowledge exchange functions, including to:
- Act as a reference group for relevant research, regional and provincial planning initiatives and other projects
- Identify gaps and resources, share information and leverage opportunities across the system of services and supports
- Support and strengthen linkages / KE mechanisms within and across the system of services and supports
- Make recommendations and support collaborative implementation as appropriate
- Link to regional, provincial, national and international initiatives related to policy, practice and research
- Collaboratively pursue funding opportunities for system priorities, where appropriate