Candidate for the Greater Victoria School Board and local mental health activist Ryan Painter issued the following statement calling on the BC Government to support recovery schools and their potential to help teens with addictions issues:
“Young people aged 15-24 are more likely to experience mental health or substance use issues than any other age group. Recovery high schools are an innovative idea and a positive addition to the continuum of care that is required to effectively address the mental health and addictions crisis among our children. I join students, parents, the BC Centre on Substance Use, and the Canadian Mental Health Association in calling on the BC Government to take a leadership role in supporting the benefits of recovery schools. They bring positive impacts for the long-term health and recovery of children and youth with addiction issues.”
Recovery high schools allow children and youth to seek help with their addictions issues in a location close to where they live. It is a model that has found success in the United States. A recent report from the B.C. Centre on Substance Use listed recovery high schools as one of the key pillars needed to tackle the addictions crisis in BC. Recovery high schools would enable our health care systems and education system to work together to ensure treatment is available when it is needed, where it is needed.
“This should be a clear sign that B.C. is ready to pilot recovery schools to effectively reduce barriers to seeking treatment and aiding recovery,” said Painter. “It is my sincere hope that as the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions builds their child and youth strategy, that they work with the Ministry of Education to include recovery high schools in their framework.”