#GetLoud for Foundations for Wellness
The increasing incidence of mental health and substance use issues during the pandemic is correlated to the economic downturn. Many people have experienced employment insecurity, temporary layoffs, and job loss to the extent that provincial unemployment jumped from 7.2% to 13.0% between March and August. Recent research suggests that a mere one-percentage-point rise in the unemployment rate increases risk of suicide and other substance use-related deaths by 2.8%.
More people than before are facing the stress of poverty and uncertainty and feeling isolated from their families, workplaces and communities. We know that whether or not a person can meet their basic needs, maintain relationships and secure a sense of place within a community determine their vulnerability to and ability to recovery from mental health and substance use conditions. 
Mental health requires more than health care. People need the essentials - reliable income, housing, and community support - for their wellbeing.
CMHA BC is calling for these commitments:
- Immediately raise income and disability assistance rates to ensure no income in BC is legislated below the poverty line.
- Build on recent investments to create a range of social housing options that offer flexible and progressive supports that meet the needs of people with severe and complex conditions and enable their transition to safe, permanent housing
- Enable phone and internet access for all people living at or below the poverty line through the provision of technology grants for personal devices and $10 per month high-speed Wi-Fi to support access to virtual care
 BC Stats. (August 2020). Labour Force Statistics Highlights. Government of British Columbia. Retrieved from: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/data/statistics/employment-labour-market/lfs_highlights.pdf
 Kneebone, R. (September 2019). Social Policy Trends: Suicide and the Economy. University of Calgary School of Public Policy. Retrieved from: https://www.policyschool.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Social-Policy-Trends-Suicide-Trends-September-2019-FINAL.pdf
 Milne, K. & Hamfelt, A. (2019). Building an Equitable Foundation: Removing barriers to access for people with mental health and substance use-related disabilities. Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division.