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Because your voice matters.

Improving Mental Health & Substance Use Services in Primary Care Project, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands

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Commitment: One-time

Connection method: Hybrid

Open to Vancouver Island Region

Last updated

Our project is aimed at improving access to mental health and substance use services in primary care settings. This means providing family doctors and nurse practitioners with more information about services in their region, and building care teams in settings like family doctors’ offices and walk-in clinics that can better meet the needs of patients struggling with mental health and/or substance use challenges. This could include adding roles like social workers or peer support workers in clinics and offices.

People with lived experience with mental health and/or substance use challenges who would like better primary care supports can participate in one of two ways:

1. Completing an online survey about their experiences. This should take 15-30 minutes. Participants will be entered into a draw for 1 of 2 $100 Visa giftcards

2. Participating in a 1.5 hour focus group. Focus groups will take place in-person in a variety of locations across the Island, or virtually, over the month of July.


Level of Engagement

This opportunity is at the level of Consult on the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation.


  • Willing & comfortable to share health care experiences in a group setting
  • Specific health care experiences [details below]
  • Have access to technology and the internet to participate in the engagement opportunity
  • An interest in improving health care services
  • Specific populations/experiences we are interested in hearing about include: youth/young adults, substance use challenges, and Indigenous, Metis or Inuit people
Patient Partners ARE NOT required to be PVN members to participate in this engagement opportunity.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Shannon Vogels Consultant, Primary Care; Mental Health and Substance Use | Island Health (778) 990-7661

From Our Community

Derek Koch

Spiritual Health Practitioner and Patient- and Family-Centred Care Lead — Kelowna General Hospital

Derek Koch

The bottom line is because we’re caring for patients. People who know best are those who are receiving the care so it makes logical sense that we would consult with them about their experiences. By connecting with PVN we have been able to educate our teams about the value of patient partners and how important their perspective is in our services.