Skip to main content

Because your voice matters.

Interior Health, Experience with Accessing Mental Health & Substance Use Services



Commitment: Short-term

Connection method: Virtual

Open to Interior Region


Volunteer Opportunity
Interior Health is developing a Mental Health and Substance Use Strategy and is seeking patient partners to participate in one, 1 hour interview to learn about their lived or living experience as a client or family member accessing mental health and substance use services in the Interior Health region.


Lead Organization/Department
Interior Health, Primary Care & Mental Health & Substance Use

To hear from patient partners with lived or living experience, and families of those, who have accessed or tried to access our mental health and substance use services so that we can better understand their experiences. This information will be used to characterize the current state in the Interior Region.  Patient partners will participate in one, 1 hour interview.

Level of Engagement
This opportunity is at the level of consult on the spectrum of engagement. The promise to you is that the health care partner will listen to and acknowledge your ideas and concerns, and provide feedback on how your input affected the decision.

• Open to patient partners from: Interior Health region.
• Persons with lived or living experience, and families of those, who have accessed or tried to access Interior Health mental health and substance use services.
• Patient partners give a lot of themselves: time, energy, and the sharing of personal stories or experiences that may be difficult. It is important that this not be done at the expense of your own health/wellbeing. There is a potential risk that patient partners may experience emotional distress through reflecting on their care experience.  With this in mind, we ask that you only consider participating if you feel it would be safe and comfortable for you to do so.
Please note:
– This opportunity is not open to staff members or patient partners who are currently employed by this health authority.
– As connection and relationship building is important, we may like to meet with short listed patient partners as part of our selection process in an informal interview between the patient partner and the health care partner.
– Applicants must have previously attended a PVN orientation session and completed the Patient Partner Commitments form. If you have not attended an orientation session but you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Charmaine Niebergall directly to see if accommodations may be possible.
– As required by the October 14, 2021 Public Health Order released by the Provincial Health Officer, proof of vaccination is required to access any in-person meetings at a health care site. Proof of vaccination can be provided by way of a Vaccination Passport or Vaccination card, along with government issued photo ID. For patient partnership activities that are virtual only (via Zoom, video conference, phone, etc.), proof of vaccination is not required.

• Number of vacancies: 8-10
• Date/Time: one time, date and time to be determined, January 2023
• Location: By phone or virtually
• Commitment: one time for 1 hour.

No out-of-pocket expenses are anticipated for this engagement opportunity. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria but have concerns about your ability to participate, please contact Charmaine Niebergall to see if support options are available. We are always seeking to better understand and reduce barriers to participation.

Interior Health is developing a multi-year Mental Health & Substance Use strategy, which will identify priority areas and guide future initiatives in the Interior Health region. To understand current challenges experienced by individuals and families accessing mental health and substance use services, Interior Health wants to hear from 8-10 individuals. Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, discussions will be facilitated by a mental health and substance use clinician with a trauma informed, culturally safe approach and will involve a set of standard questions.

Following completion of all the interviews, responses will be themed to highlight common challenges experienced by participants and/or their family members. This information will be used to characterize the current situation in Interior Health and potential areas for improvement. A summary of the common themes identified by participants will be shared with all participants.

Health Care Partner Contact Information

Charmaine Niebergall Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Vancouver Island Region 778-700-2064

From Our Community

Ovey Yeung

Patient Partner, Vancouver

Ovey Yeung

Being involved in the Patient Voices Network has broadened my understanding of the system and helped me empathize with health care challenges and limitations. What matters to me is to walk away feeling that my experience matters, that I matter!