South Asian Community Hub receives funding to offer more mental Health, addiction support to South Asian people


South Asian people and their families living with mental-health and addictions challenges in the Lower Mainland will have access to more culturally relevant supports.
The provincial government has provided $100,000 to fund mental-health and substance-use programming for South Asian people in the Greater Vancouver area. The new funding will support three part-time outreach workers, as well as people with lived experience who will engage with South Asians who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Outreach workers will connect people and families with wraparound services and resources, such as food banks, income and housing supports, counselling, home detox programs and medical services. These services are expected to support approximately 50 to 75 people who use drugs and another 150 to 200 members of their families.
“South Asian Community Hub outreach workers will develop relationships with these families that are built on respect, trust and cultural safety in their first language,” said Gary Thandi, board member, South Asian Community Hub (SACH). “Too often these families are not aware of how to access financial aid and health and mental-health resources, as well as how to access harm-reduction supplies, detox or treatment. Through sustained, respectful and culturally responsive relationships, SACH outreach workers will ensure these families receive the types of support they need.”
Navneet Kaur, counsellor, said, “The services provided by SACH are very much needed. I look forward to working with SACH and other community partners in supporting South Asian families impacted by substance use.”
Outreach workers will also attend community meetings that focus on addiction, mental health and homelessness, and create a report that outlines ways to effectively engage with South Asian people experiencing these challenges.
“When people make the brave decision to reach out for help, language and culture shouldn’t be a roadblock to get the support they need,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “We know that culturally relevant support is essential in guiding people through their wellness journey. That’s why our government is investing in community organizations, like the South Asian Community Hub, to build the services that work for people.”
Jordan Kahlon, community integration specialist, Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, said, “Organizations, like South Asian Community Hub, are critical to connecting disadvantaged South Asians to the services they need, ensuring they are met with a support system that helps them thrive.”