Coast Mental Health Announces New E-Mental Health Initiative 

In collaboration with Coast Mental Health Foundation, the project is made possible with support from Premium Brands Holdings Corporation

Vancouver, BC (September 22nd, 2020) – Coast Mental Health and Coast Mental Health Foundation are embarking on a new initiative to develop an e-mental health approach for community-based mental health care. The project – the first of its kind in BC – aims to address the significant current impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health and addiction, and the anticipated surge in future support needs.

Coast Mental Health is an established leader in its field, known for high quality, innovative programs and research. Coast is known for pioneering and developing new and relevant programs in mental health, including Peer Support, many of which have since become the gold standard across the Province.

This next step in developing the future of community-lead mental health care is made possible through a significant monetary donation and a commitment to future support by Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, a leading specialty food manufacturing and distribution company headquartered in Richmond, BC.

Premium Brands Holdings invites other businesses or individuals to be part of this exciting – and crucial – initiative, to help fast-track and increase the impact on people living with mental illness.

With high rates of mental health and addiction challenges, and low access levels for traditional in-person mental health and addiction services, there is an urgent need for innovative approaches to providing mental health and addiction recovery support, now more than ever.

According to figures shared by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, every day, 10 people in Canada die by suicide. For young people in Canada, suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24 year olds, the third-highest in the industrialized world. In addition, surpassed only by injuries, mental health disorders in youth are ranked as the second-highest hospital care expenditure in Canada.

Many people with mental illness, especially youth, are in great need of care but are not able to access in-person therapies, whether currently due to COVID-19, geography, stigma, cost, or other reasons specific to their circumstances.

“Building our ability to provide mental health care virtually would allow us to offer high-quality mental health support to a vastly larger number of people with mental illness than is currently possible throughout the province, and therefore help address the expected massive increase in mental health care needs. With the support of Premium Brands, this has now become possible,” stated Darrell Burnham, CEO of Coast Mental Health.

“Premium Brands is a firm believer in the power of innovation to deliver uncommon results. In view of the current crisis created by COVID-19, we believe that e-mental health is vital to our communities’ ability to expand and improve mental health and addictions services. Premium Brands is committed to making this possible through supporting Coast Mental Health’s e-mental health initiative.”

“The current contribution is only a beginning, and we are ready to become further involved in supporting the development of innovative approaches to mental health care in Canada,” said George Paleologou, President and CEO of Premium Brands Holdings Corporation.