New Resilience and Safety Grants

Collaboration and partnership can be transformative to improving the health of individuals and communities. In order to expand collaborative opportunities, Island Health is allocating up to $1 million for a new grant program aimed at helping improve mental health, mitigate the harms associated with illicit substance use and build youth resilience. 

Island Health is seeking Expressions of Interest from not-for-profit organizations, local governments, Indigenous Nations and local businesses for initiatives that keep your community safe and healthy. Grants of up to $50,000 are available to launch new and innovative initiatives in communities across Island Health.  

Grants are available for projects/initiatives in two areas:

1. Improving Workplace Resilience and Individual Safety Related to the Toxic Drug Crisis

The toxic drug (overdose) crisis continues to escalate since identified as a public health emergency in 2016. BC continues to sustain terrible loss of life, and Vancouver Island is significantly impacted. Island Health and our partners are able to provide life-saving supports to people who use drugs; however, we are not reaching everyone at risk. 

“The toxic drug crisis disproportionately impacts men, and particularly those working in the trades and hospitality industries” said Keva Glynn, Executive Lead, Mental Health and Substance Use Strategy. “The Resilience and Safety grants provide an opportunity for new partners and voices to come forward and propose creative ways to reach those at highest risk, focusing on deepening resilience and supporting wellness and work and home.”

Expressions of Interest should focus on:  

  • Businesses leading the way to a strong and healthy workforce
  • New ways to reach people who use illicit drugs alone

2. Improving Youth Resilience

The isolation and disconnection experienced during the pandemic, ecological grief from climate change, the increasing predominance of isolation due to excessive online engagement, and the unpredictably toxic drug supply have all contributed to increasing rates of poor mental health outcomes for youth. Taken altogether, many youth would benefit from support to develop resilience in the context of a changing world.

“The unregulated toxic drug crisis affects youth and young adults in Island Health. These Resilience and Safety Grants are a recognition of how important programs and supports during childhood and adolescence are for youth to develop resilience, prevent harmful substance use and have the skills to face challenges throughout life” said Dr. Reka Gustafson, VP Population and Public Health and Chief Medical Health Officer. 

Expressions of Interest aimed at improving resilience among youth ages 13 to 19 should focus on: 

  • Connection to one or more stable and supportive adult
  • Belonging to a broadly defined family or community
  • Connection to Culture
  • Competence and purpose

For more detailed information, including the principles or components these initiatives should address, and to submit an Expression of Interest please refer to the Resilience and Safety Grants webpage.