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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

Shana Ooms

Executive Director of Primary Care Strategy, Policy and Quality — BC Ministry of Health

Shana Ooms

Where those of us in the room may have debated policy or wording, patient voices made sure patients were top of mind. And as a result, significant improvements were made to simplify something that was otherwise complex. Patient voices at the table bring us back to reality in terms of what we are trying to achieve.