2020-2021 Highlights

Coast Mental Health’s outcomes and impact during COVID-19 pandemic

The pandemic has been a challenging time for non-profits. This includes community health, which offers essential services to help keep people informed and connected to daily and emergency supports.

As part of Coast Mental Health’s response to the crisis, we modified our programming to maintain vital connections with clients, members and tenants.

Safety also continues to be our top priority; providing clean and safe facilities for our clients and staff and the communities we serve.

When the pandemic started, we initiated our Emergency Response Team. We developed COVID-19 specific health and safety protocols, new building operation procedures, and supply distribution channels to support people in our care across 52 facilities. We worked with many community partners to ensure vulnerable populations had access to food, housing, healthcare referrals, emergency supports, and more.

How did Coast Mental Health’s Emergency Response Team meet the challenges posed by the pandemic?

We avoided the spread of the COVID-19 virus across our sites,
making it safer for clients, staff, and the communities we serve

What was our impact in fiscal 2020/2021?


Due to the pandemic, Coast Mental Health paused housing development expansion plans for the 2020/2021 fiscal year. The only significant area of growth observed was the need for rent subsidies, which increased by 43%. This spike reflects the difficult circumstances that many people found themselves in during the pandemic. The pandemic caused several businesses, community programming, and healthcare supports to close their doors during the height of the pandemic.

As COVID-19 vaccinations continue, we look forward to getting back to our housing growth strategies. We’re preparing for a busy year with new housing developments to support the mental health community, beginning with a new 68-unit facility at 205 Kingsway in Vancouver.

Read how our Volunteer Program supports tenants living at Garibaldi Ridge, Maple Ridge 

In fiscal 2020/2021, Coast Mental Health provided
1,488 affordable homes, many with mental health supports

52 Coast Mental Health facilities
819 employees support these sites

We observed a 43% increase in the need for rent subsidies in 2020/2021

Support Services:

As part of our 2020/2021 Annual Report, we honour and give tribute to our front-line workers who continue to keep us all safe during the pandemic.

Thanks to all our employees and their efforts to support clients in our care, we celebrate as one of B.C.’s Top Employers for 2021. This award reflects the passion, hard work and creativity of our employees.

Coast Mental Health’s workforce has been instrumental in making ongoing modifications throughout the pandemic to meet the safety requirements set by B.C.’s Provincial Health Officers. Additionally, we have pivoted and adapted many of our psycho-social rehabilitation and recovery services to ensure our doors remained open. Also, clients stayed connected to the daily supports they need to manage their wellness. This resulted in a 13% increase in the number of people served in 2020/2021, for a total of 5,892 people served during the fiscal period.

The above data only reflects the number of active clients in our data management system. The total number of people served would increase further if we included the supports given to family networks and caregivers, who  are an essential part of recovery for many people in our care.

Learn why our employees are so special and essential to our communities

Total of 5,892 (+13% from last fiscal) clients served in 2020/2021

On average 40 young adults participated in Coast Mental Health’s
Young Adult Program (400+ interactions) in 2020/2021

Coast Mental Health served between 120-140 meals-to-go per day
at both the Clubhouse and Resource Centre throughout 2020/2021

119 student placements, essential to building B.C.’s healthcare system,
were completed through Coast Mental Health in fiscal 2020/2021

1,265 clients supported through Coast Mental Health’s
Volunteer Program in 2020/2021

74% employee engagement rate was maintained for another
year in 2020/2021

34% increase in clients accessing services in Cognitive Remediation
during 2020/2021

Emergency supports

We also saw a significant jump in emergency supports and healthcare referrals in fiscal 2020/2021. The need for daily supports in the communities we serve continues to grow, so we redeployed outreach teams to assist in community programming.

Overall, we saw a staggering 51% increase in the number of requests coming from people in need of emergency supports ranging from housing, rent subsidies, healthcare referrals, drop-in requests, and more. As Step 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan reduced restrictions, we continue to see a high demand for our Outreach Services. These services aid vulnerable people who struggle to connect with B.C.’s healthcare system.

The need for Coast Mental Health’s Outreach Services
(emergency supports and healthcare referrals) increased by 51% in 2020/2021

Combating the opioid crisis

The opioid crisis created further challenges for many who struggle with both mental health and substance use disorders. The combination of a toxic street drug supply, the lack of treatment beds, in-house recovery supports, and the lack of availability to drug alternatives necessary to support people in recovery has created a perfect storm and sadly many fatalities across B.C. Last year, our employees saved 111 lives through overdose reversals and first aid provided by trained staff to administer naloxone.

To prevent overdose casualties, Coast Mental Health developed an Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) pilot program. This program has more recently become an established program at St. Helen’s Apartments in Vancouver. The program creates a safe space for people with opioid dependency to access harm reduction supports, treatments and safety supplies. To prevent more overdoses and encourage recovery, we’d like to see more OAT clinics open across our facilities.

These programs help stop our most vulnerable neighbours from falling through the cracks and are only possible because of kind donors and supporters.

How did we respond to the overdose crisis? 

111 lives saved through overdose reversals and first aid provided
to clients living at our facilities during 2020/2021

Employment & Education:

While many businesses closed last year, Coast Mental Health continued to provide clients with employment opportunities. We provide various honorarium programs and three social enterprises: Social Crust Café & Catering, Street Clean Team, and Landscaping With Heart.

Employment offers more than financial resiliency for our members. It also encourages social connections and a sense of purpose. Both of which are a significant part of recovery and wellness. Fiscal 2020/2021 created 106 employment opportunities across 52 facilities in seven communities across Greater Vancouver.

Learn how our Landscaping With Heart employment program is essential to member recovery and wellness. 

106 employment opportunities for clients were created across
Coast Mental Health’s facilities in 2020/2021

Another 30 people completed training through Coast Mental
Health’s Peer Support Workers program in fiscal 2020/2021

Operational systems and supports:

Coast Mental Health’s scale and capacity are supported through centralized operational systems and processes to support clients, staff and volunteers who work or live at our facilities.

The Building Properties department is just one of many functional departments that support the organization. During the pandemic, the properties team responded to the need for urgent personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies. Typically, this team works behind the scenes completing deliveries, repairs and maintenance.

During the pandemic, the properties team was crucial to our emergency response efforts, responding to every order placed by staff from Vancouver to Langley. With this team’s support, we delivered approximately 96,000 disposable masks to clients, staff and volunteers. And, thanks to the generosity of donors, over 1,200 clients received personalized isolation care packs.

While shipping supplies is an important part of running our facilities, our properties department provides much more. Read the article below to learn more.

Why was our Properties Department essential in keeping us all safe?

96,000 disposable masks delivered to Coast Mental Health facilities in 2020/2021

1,200 clients received personalized isolation care packs
across more than 40 sites

22 new community partnerships were established in 2020/2021

Foundation/ Philanthropy:

Many of the programs that define Coast Mental Health’s unique and successful approach to community-based mental health care fall outside the scope of established government funding and are only made possible through philanthropy.

The cancellation of the in-person Courage To Come Back Awards in 2020 and 2021 severely impacted our revenue, and we had to re-adjust budgets.

Coast Mental Health Foundation introduced new fundraising initiatives. This included a focus on online fundraising, our first virtual 50/50 Raffle, the pilot for our new Courage 2 Go Further event, and our largest ever matching campaign. But thanks to the continued support of donors, 5,800+ clients were still able to access the services they needed.

The generosity of donors enabled our front-line teams to pivot and adapt or create new programs to ensure the most vulnerable can access the care they needed. Thank you.

Read more about the impact of your support in the Coast Mental Health Foundation Gratitude Report here.

33 Programs funded through philanthropy in 2020/2021

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Your donation to Coast Mental Health Foundation provides essential housing, support, and employment services for people with mental illness so they can find their meaningful place in our community – a place to live, a place to connect, and a place to work.