A range of improved mental health and substance-use support programs are coming to the Comox Valley School District this year.

According to an announcement made by the province on Thursday, the supports will include the creation of an integrated mental health team that will work with schools to provide streamlined care for children, youth and their families throughout the area.

The "one-care plan" approach to mental health is intended to make it easier for students to access services and reduce the need for people to repeatedly share potentially painful histories to different healthcare workers.

“For far too long, families have had to knock on door after door to get the help they need for their children,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, in an announcement on Thursday.

“These integrated child and youth teams will make it so much easier to connect young people to the help they need, where and when they need it.”

Comox Valley School District's new mental health team will launch in December. The team will then decide on specific services once they have identified where they are needed most, says the province.

B.C. also plans to give teachers and school counsellors more resources to help identify students who may need support earlier on, before issues have a chance to escalate.

"We’ve seen a tremendous increase in enrolment over the past few years so added supports — especially in the areas of mental health and overall wellness for students — could not have come at a better time,” said MLA for Courtenay-Comox, Ronna-Rae Leonard.