Local central and north Vancouver Island charitable and Indigenous organizations can now apply for grants from United Way British Columbia (UWBC).
A total of $250,000 is available this year, according to the charity. They say organizations can apply for up to $15,000 in grants specifically for mental health services to children and youth.
Activities that qualify for the funding include adaptability, resiliency, communication skills, emotional regulation skills, problem-solving and optimism in children and youth.
United Way says the applications are now open until May 9, at 4 p.m. Applications can be filled out on United Way’s Vancouver Island website.
The group adds anxiety levels have risen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and action from local organizations is needed.
“We know that our children and youth are struggling from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and other national and global issues,” said Julie Rushton, community impact manager.
“Some reports say that anxiety and depression in kids is as high as 70 per cent, which is more than double the pre-pandemic rate. Those with existing vulnerabilities may be at even greater risk.”
The funding is coming from two streams, children and youth and Indigenous children and youth, each at $125,000, according to UWBC.
More information will be given out at two information sessions on April 25 and 26 for anyone interested in learning more.