In a bid to provide crucial support and services to women and girls grappling with addiction challenges, the province of British Columbia has allocated funding to ensure the continuation of treatment and recovery programs. One organization benefiting from this funding is the Westminster House Society, which caters to women and girls affected by various forms of addiction, including substance abuse, nicotine, alcohol, prescription medication, and behavioural disorders like problematic eating and gambling.
Recognizing the importance of ensuring the availability of suitable services for those who bravely seek help, Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, emphasized the significance of the government’s investment in organizations like the Westminster House Society. The allocated funding will ensure that women and girls have access to the necessary services they deserve on their journey toward wellness. This initiative aligns with the government’s goal of establishing an integrated mental health and addiction care system that caters to all British Columbians’ needs.
With a rich history of 42 years, the Westminster House Society operates as a bed-based treatment and recovery center in New Westminster. Since the declaration of the toxic drug public health emergency in 2016, over 4,000 women and youth have sought assistance from society. Since the launch of the “Pathway to Hope” initiative in 2019, Westminster House has guided over 650 women and young girls on their path to recovery.
Susan Hogarth, the executive director of Westminster House Society, expressed gratitude for the provincial government’s investment, highlighting that the funding will contribute to developing health and wellness programs. Additionally, the support staff will be expanded to assist clients in building recovery capital, ultimately leading to an improved quality of life.
The government has provided $272,000 to the Westminster House Society to bolster its services in line with the province’s commitment to enhancing mental health and addiction care. This financial injection reflects the government’s recognition of the urgent need to support individuals, particularly women and girls, struggling with mental health, addiction, and substance use across British Columbia.
Kelli Paddon, the Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, emphasized the significance of funding the Westminster House Society, ensuring that women, youth, and girls have access to the necessary support in a caring and supportive environment. This investment is essential to address the prevailing challenges in the province’s mental health and addiction care.
Leia Donnelly, a client’s family member who received support from the Westminster House Society, expressed gratitude for the organization’s compassionate and dedicated approach. During a crisis, Donnelly’s family found solace and support from the society. As a result, their daughter has achieved one year of sobriety and is now relishing the rewards of recovery.
The investment in organizations like the Westminster House Society is a good example of the British Columbia government prioritizing mental health and addiction care. By allocating funding and enhancing support services, the province aims to create a comprehensive and inclusive system of care that effectively addresses the needs of all individuals, particularly women and girls, on their journey to recovery and well-being.