Centre For Family Equity
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Parental Mental Health Support for Survivors

Program Development 

The Centre for Family Equity's Parental Mental Health program was developed and launched in 2023. We identified mental health service gaps through our funded research with UBC from 2021 to 2024 on the impact of the pandemic on low-income mothers. Our Parental Mental Health program was developed in response to evidence-based data we collected on low-income parents' barriers to accessing much-needed mental health support, particularly for those impacted by gender-based family violence. Our Parental Mental Health program offered cohorts in-person in Vancouver from 2023 to 2024 for Indigenous and non-Indigenous participants. Our partnership with the firm Human Nature Counselling explored a nature-based therapeutic approach. 

Program Expansion and Growth in 2024 - 2025

We have received support to continue our inquiry into mental health access services gaps for low-income lone mothers and parents, uncovered through our UBC-partnered research, supported by the UBC Community-University Engagement Support Fund. We will establish a collaborative engagement approach with program participants as we develop the Parental Mental Health program. We will also gather more data through 2024-2025 on mental health access gaps for low-income parents impacted long-term by gender-based family violence. 

We have also received partnership and funding support through BC's Civil Forfeiture fund to expand to underserved regions of BC and increase the number of cohorts offered. We would like to express our gratitude to the UBC Community-University Engagement Support Fund and the Civil Forfeiture Fund for supporting this Parental Mental Health Initiative through 2024 and 2025.

Who is Eligible for the Parental Mental Health program?

The Parental Mental Health program is open to:

  • Low-income parents and caregivers impacted by gender-based family violence.
  • Parents and caregivers impacted by family violence who are actively accessing legal aid and our family law system; and/or
  • Those currently accessing income or disability assistance and transitioning to the labour market or taking up more work. 

How does the Parental Mental Health initiative work? 

  • 12-month program.
  • Consists of workshops and group therapy led by licensed clinical counsellors. 
  • Includes ongoing peer-based and peer-led support while accessing family law and transitions to work. 
  • Employs a fully trauma-informed approach.
  • Engages program participants to develop program structure, expansion, and evaluation.
  • Virtual and in-person options available to meet the diversity of needs across BC.

Opportunity to Impact Program Development

We are currently holding two focus groups to gather more input on program structure, content, and design to evolve our model from those who have experienced barriers to accessing mental health support. We are seeking eight participants per focus group - 16 participants total. All focus group participants will receive honoraria for their participation. 

To sign up to attend a focus group over the next six weeks please register here

To join our list to hear about new program cohorts when they start please click here