RICHMOND – Richmond residents with mental health and substance use issues will receive increased support, thanks to $200,000 in Community Action Initiative grants from the B.C. government.

The funding will support the Richmond Family Place Society to provide peer mentoring and group work through their Richmond Refugee Mental Health Access Project, which focuses on building resiliency and culture for refugee children and families.

“The Richmond Family Place Society has been providing support to families in Richmond for more than 30 years. This funding can help refugee children and families maintain a healthier life and better connect to the community,” said Richmond-East MLA Linda Reid.

“To be able to live healthily both physically and mentally is very important,” said Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap. “With peer mentoring in a group setting under professional guidance, refugee children and families in the community can receive practical and effective support and advice.”

The Community Action Initiative (CAI), a province-wide program that supports mental health and substance use groups across B.C., recently awarded the service innovation grants to 16 community-based projects that promote positive mental health for British Columbians.

To date, CAI has funded 227 grants totalling $9.6 million that serve a mix of 79 rural, urban, remote, and Aboriginal communities in British Columbia. A detailed list of grants can be viewed at: http://www.communityactioninitiative.ca/about-the-cai/funded-projects/