COQUITLAM, BC – What was once home to the mentally ill of Metro Vancouver will soon be the site of a rehabilitation and recovery program for those struggling with mental health and addiction issues .
Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, British Columbia, opened in 1913, began seeing fewer patients in the 1990s, and officially closed in 2012.
Health Minister Terry Lake announced on Wednesday that a new program run by Coast Mental Health will provide 25 beds for men and 15 beds for women in two renovated buildings on the old hospital grounds.
Client services will include ongoing support programs, assessment, crisis intervention, coordinated psychiatric and medical treatment, social and life skills, drug and alcohol recovery, skills professional, educational and peer support, said Lake.
“By providing community support through the rehabilitation and recovery program, we can help people with severe mental illness and addiction issues on their journey to wellness,” Lake said in a press release. .
The program will take a holistic approach, integrate primary care with mental health and addiction treatment, and help clients return to the community with ongoing support, the ministry added.
Lake’s announcement was quickly criticized by opposition New Democrats and mental health advocates who pointed out that of the 40 beds, only 14 will be newly funded and the remaining 26 will be moved to Coquitlam from Burnaby Center. for Mental Health and Addiction.
NDP health spokesperson Sue Hammell said the 14 new beds are perfect for those who will receive them, but do not meet the needs of a province of more than four million people .
âIt’s not like we’re not spending the money,â she said. “We put people in jail, we put them in hospitals, we have the police looking after them, we spend a lot of money on social assistance and all kinds of other means,” he said. she declared.
Hammell said the province needs to take the mental health response seriously, just as it has become serious about cancer treatment, and mental health patients need a continuum of support.
Bev Gutray, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, British Columbia Division, said she was happy that people had a place to go where they could enter a period of stability and receive treatment for them. ‘a multidisciplinary team.
But Gutray said there needs to be more focus on getting people back to their communities.
âUltimately, people will return home to their communities, and a chronic critical issue remains that people are getting safe and secure housing with community mental health support,â she said.
Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu and Mayor Gregor Robertson have requested an additional 300 long-term care beds, saying they are needed to treat people with mental health and addiction issues.
The government decided to establish the programs in Riverview after extensive public consultation by BC Housing.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said the city was happy with the government’s decision to establish new services at the historic site, and he believes the site’s role in mental health will continue.
âThis is really, I believe, the start of the site reorientation for healthcare, and I think a big part of that will be mental health,â he said.
The announcement came the same day Island Health said it was investing $ 12.3 million to expand support for people with mental illness and addiction issues by opening 28 new addiction beds and 14 care beds. mental health next year.