South Island Division of Family Practice

Child Youth Mental Health Substance Use


The aim of the Child Youth Mental Health Substance Use (CYMHSU) Collaborative is to increase the number of children, youth, and their families receiving timely access to integrated mental health and substance use services and supports throughout the province. Local Action Teams are involved in testing and implementing key strategies to improve child and youth mental health and substance use care and services:

Saanich Peninsula Local Action Team:

  • Increase knowledge and capacity within community to facilitate timely referrals
  • Partner with schools to increase understanding of the needs of students
  • Engage with service providers to facilitate development of priorities and plans
  • Promote culturally competent care. 

Sooke Westshore Local Action Team:

  • Increase knowledge and capacity within community to facilitate timely referrals
  • Facilitate establishment of school-based primary health care clinics
  • Establish Parent Education and Support Groups in Sooke and the Westshore
  • Provide mental health literacy training for teachers.

For more information regarding CYMHSU please contact Margi Bhalla at or the office at (250) 658-3303.


CYMHSU Resources:

  • Child and Youth Mental Health Intake Clinics for Families in the GVA
    This service program is designed to support children and youth who experience significant difficulties related to their thoughts, feelings and behaviors.  They also act as "system navigator", which means they work to help families find the programs that are right for them.  The intake session takes about 45-90 minutes. Please see attached brochure for more information and clinic details.  As of April 4th, the new drop-in intake hours will be:

    Tuesday = 9:00am – 12:00pm   &   Thursday = 12:00pm – 3:00pm

  • Child and Youth Mental Health Tools & Resources
    Enhance your ability to identify, assess, manage and treat children and teens with mental health needs. You will learn how to best support young patients using proven tools and a collaborative care approach that links patients, families, pediatricians, mental health services, psychiatrists and non-government agencies. For more information click here and to access the learning modules click here.

  • Parent Support Circles - New circle in Sooke and Westshore!
    Parent Support Services Society of BC

    For anyone in a parenting role to discuss concerns or strategies in a supportive, non-judgmental setting—sharing information, resources and meeting other parents in your community!  See poster for Sooke and Westshore or visit for more information.

  • Let's Talk - Speaking With Our Kids About Substance Use
    Island Health Information Kit for Schools and Parents

    The resources offered in this document will create a consistent understanding of the opioid overdose emergency, including a factual description of what fentanyl and fentanyl-analogues are, the risks they pose when used illicitly, as well as information on overdose prevention, recognition and response. Download toolkit here.

  • Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre - BC's Information Source for Children, Youth & Families
    Health and Education Professional Perspectives Required - Seeking Advisory Input from Professionals Working with Youth and Young Adults

    Professional Advisory Committee Application
    Family Advisory Committee Application

    For more information visit the website at

  • Mental Health and Substance Use Supports in B.C.
    View resources here.


Students trained as sexual health 'ambassadors'
March 8, 2017 - CBC News | British Columbia
Study found more than 70 per cent of youth seek information from friends first.   A new program at three Victoria-area high schools is training students as sexual health ambassadors.  Read or listen to story here.

Report makes economic, political case for dedicated mental health funding
March 7, 2017 - CTV News
More money for child and youth services would boost Canada's economy and patient health, a new report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada suggests, buttressing Ottawa's push for targeted mental health investments. Read full article here.

Leadership Victoria Award
March 2, 2017 

See attached photo of Karen, Pam, Holly and Linda, members of the Westshore Sooke Parents Group, at Government House receiving their Leadership Victoria Award.  
"Well done everyone.  You've all done a terrific job and you deserve this award." Bill McElroy

Westshore Sooke Youth Health Advisory Committee
March 1, 2017 - Goldstream Gazette
Read full article here.

Rethinking drug education
February 25, 2017 
Read full article here.

$140 million to improve access, target key mental-health
February 20, 2017 - BC Gov News
Read full article here.  

Westshore Sooke Parent Education and Support Group
February 15, 2017 - Goldstream News Gazette
Read full article on page A20 here.



  • Cultural Safety: PHSA’s Indigenous Cultural Safety - Online Course

    Thirty seats in the PHSA’s Indigenous Cultural Safety - ICS Core Health are available for CYMHSU LAT members in the South Island.

    Through this course learners will gain an understanding of the diversity of Indigenous groups in BC, be able to recognize the impacts of colonization, enhance your self-awareness in cultural competency, and develop strategies to build collaborative relationships with Indigenous peoples.

    For more information, to register, or if you have any questions, please contact: Penny Cooper at or by phone 250 370 8965.

  • Cultural Safety: The Blanket Exercise

    For more information, to register, or if you have any questions, please contact: Penny Cooper at or by phone 250 370 8965.