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Strategic Plan


Province-wide solutions. Better health.

As an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), an academic health sciences organization affiliated with the universities of British Columbia[1], BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services aims to contribute to our shared goal of improving the health of the population by:

Our shared PHSA values serve to provide a focus for how we approach our work. They collectively inspire behaviour that creates a dynamic and performance-oriented organization.

Patients first

We believe that all of our endeavors should be directed to improving care, access to care, and health outcomes of those who need and use our services across the province.

We believe that deliberate prevention and promotion initiatives can contribute to the better health of British Columbians.

We measure our success by the way we deliver on our commitment of better health and by the level of satisfaction and engagement of our patients and their families. Our success depends on the contribution and commitment of each and every employee and partner, and this will be achieved through building and supporting an engaged workforce.

Results matter

Results matter very much to the patients who require province-wide services, and it matters to us how people are treated by all our agencies and programs. Results matter in our ability to conduct research that can be used for practical, evidence-based decision making. Results matter in our ability to influence better measurable outcomes for health in BC, and in the delivery of our mandate and commitments found in our agreements with government. Our success requires that we be clinically, environmentally, financially, scientifically and socially accountable.

Best value

We believe it is critically important to ensure that the delivery of any service, business process or research activity balances effectiveness with cost. We strive to optimize services and research activities to meet population health and health care needs within available resources. We strive to provide value from the patient’s perspective which means timely and equitable access to specialty and province-wide services and better health outcomes for all citizens of BC.

Excellence through knowledge

We are committed to advancing knowledge through research, and ensuring that new knowledge is translated and incorporated into practice, the development of standards, and organization of the health services. We are committed to ensuring that the challenges and issues we face in our day-to-day practice drive new research that leads to innovation. We are a learning organization that incorporates evaluation into all that we do, and encourage everyone to seek and act on the best information and knowledge from all sources. Our success requires that we stay current through challenging conventional wisdom in order to provide better health care solutions.

Open to possibilities

We will have the moral courage to continually challenge and re-examine the status quo.

We will approach each task with an open mind, objectivity and flexibility. No one has a monopoly on good ideas, or the best way to get a job done. Our success requires that we are innovative and creative, seek new ways of doing things, explore new approaches, and are open to learning from others.


BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) operates within the context of a larger mental health and services system in which Regional Health Authorities, the Ministry of Child & Family Development, the Criminal Justice System, Community Agencies, Patients and Families all play important roles.

For people who need care, there is a continuum of primary, secondary and appropriate tertiary mental health services in place in each geographic health authority – all linked to the specialized services provided by BCMHSUS, which are accessible to all residents of BC. Patients move between services as dictated by their individual needs. Access is not delayed by a lack of capacity and care is provided in the most appropriate setting.


As an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), BCMHSUS supports PHSA’s three primary strategic directions:

  1. Improving quality outcomes and providing better value for patients
  2. Promoting healthier populations
  3. Contributing to a sustainable health care system.

In support of PHSA’s Strategic Directions, BCMHSUS organizes its goals and planned initiatives in two broad areas:

Core Service Directions: the plan for our five key areas of business – clinical services, health promotion & illness prevention, knowledge exchange and training, research, and academic teaching.

Enabling Strategies: the plan for how we will build the culture and organizational capacity needed to achieve our vision.

These “culture building strategies” reflect our commitment to:

In each of these areas – our core service direction and our enabling strategies - we have identified specific goals and initiatives that will focus our time and resources over the next few years in support of the overarching PHSA Strategic Plan. While the goals will remain firm, these major initiatives will evolve over the life of this plan as progress is made and as new opportunities arise.

[1] While PHSA’s primary affiliation is with the UBC Medical School and the UBC Health and Human Science Programs, PHSA also works in association with the BC Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University, the University of Northern BC, and the University of Victoria, among others.

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