Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Shane Simpson announced $150,000 in provincial funding to train new community support and mental health care workers in the Campbell River area. Photo by Province of B.C.

Province invests $150,000 to train community support and mental health care workers in Campbell River

Program to begin Aug. 24 at Discovery Community College

More than $150,000 of provincial money will help support a new class of community support and mental health care students in the Campbell River area, the province announced this week.

Discovery Community College will receive the funds from WorkBC’s Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) Project Based Labour Market Training to provide in-class training and work experience to up to 15 students.

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“We know that health care workers are in demand right now all over the province, including mental health care and community support workers,” said Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction in a press release. “Training like this not only helps to meet the need for community health care workers, but also provides British Columbians a clear path to a rewarding, long-term career.”

The project also involves the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, the Campbell River Beacon Club and the John Howard Society Campbell River.

Shelly Kernovich, housing manager with the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, said they’re grateful for the investment.

“It’s really important we start growing our own workers here,” she said, “because it’s beneficial for everyone when we invest in those who live and work in our community.”

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According to the press release, the program will prioritize students who are Indigenous, immigrants, youth, “multi-barriered” or survivors of violence or abuse.

After their training is done, they’ll spend two weeks receiving employment support to get them ready to work as a community support or mental health care worker in the Campbell River area.

“Knowing that we’re supporting people in Campbell River to get the skills they need to fill in-demand jobs, while helping community members, is heartening,” said North Island MLA Claire Trevena. “Having additional community support or mental health care workers in Campbell River will go a long way in battling the unprecedented dual public health emergencies we’re facing with COVID-19 and the overdose crisis.”

The program begins Aug. 24 and runs until April 16, 2021.

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