Jim Iker of the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation presents a $2,000 cheque to Mary Anna Ennis from START and Liz Harris of the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation. (Submitted photo)

Donation of $2,000 goes to START youth mental-health team

Program run by Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

The Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation recently presented $2,000 to the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation (FVHCF) in support of youth mental health in the Fraser Valley.

The funds will go to START (Short Term, Assessment, Response, Treatment), which was established in 2004 to better service children and youth (ages six through 18) who are experiencing an acute mental health crisis.

The program provides assessment, crisis stabilization, psychiatry and short-term therapy services. Last year, more than 800 children and youth were supported in the program.

Making the recent donation was Jim Iker, board chair of the Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation.

“As part of our mission to improve health and well-being in British Columbia, mental health is an important area of focus for our organization,” he said.

“The START program provides essential services in the Fraser Valley area, and we are proud to support the important work they do and the difference they make for children and youth in the community.”

The majority of children and youth who are referred to the START Team have suicidal thoughts or may have had a recent suicide attempt.

The program is able to provide immediate assessment and therapeutic intervention through individual, family and group therapy.

FVHCF executive director Liz Harris said the START team is a critical component of youth health care in the Fraser Valley.

“Having supporters like Pacific Blue Cross Health Foundation makes it easier for the START Team to impact as many youth as possible,” she said.

Visit fvhcf.ca or call 1-877-661-0314 for more information or to support the START team.

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