“The history of the consumer movement highlights the importance of critique, collaboration, participation, and continuous renegotiation of the terms on which mental health care is built.”
early 1990’s – The first individuals with lived experience with mental health services were employed at Vancouver Mental Health Services (then the Greater Vancouver Mental Health Services Society, a registered non-profit organization.)
1995 -The Consumer Initiative Fund was established
1997 -A formal Peer Support Training program was established. Since that time, other peer services have been introduced into Vancouver Mental Health Services.
2001 -Vancouver Mental Health Services (then part of the Vancouver/Richmond Health Board) initiated a long-term project to work with consumers of mental health services to determine new ways of engaging them in planning, implementation, and evaluation of mental health service delivery in Vancouver.
2006– The Consumer Involvement and Initiatives Plan completed and endorsed in principle by Vancouver Mental Health Services, now part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. The result of extensive community consultation, the report identified priorities and strategies to further effective and meaningful involvement of consumers in services that contribute to their own recovery.
The Consumer Involvement and Initiatives is an umbrella program that amplifies the consumer/peer or service user voice within Vancouver Community Mental Health and Substance Use Services, Vancouver Coastal Health.
Consumer Involvement: includes research, representation on boards and committees, strategic development, and general employment opportunities.
Consumer Initiatives: a range of services led by and for consumers/peers providing creative opportunities to encourage individuals to explore activities that support recovery and includes designated peer-delivered services including the Consumer Initiative Fund Program, the Vancouver Peer Support Program, and Peer Facilitated Workshops as Bridges, WRAP and Your Recovery Journey.