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Youth and young adults benefit from provincial substance use treatment program

Keremeos – More than 80 youth and young adults with substance use and mental health challenges have benefitted from the natural healing environment of Ashnola at The Crossing since the facility opened last year.
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Ashnola at The Crossing is a 22-bed residential treatment program for youth and young adults from across BC with serious, chronic substance use issues. The program is located just outside of Keremeos and provides care in a therapeutic environment for 17 – 24-year-olds with substance use challenges that require specialized treatment and supports. 

“The overdose crisis has made it clear that we need to provide a full spectrum of connected treatment and recovery options for people with substance use challenges,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Ashnola at The Crossing has brought together local First Nations, Indigenous organizations and many other local organizations as partners to create a safe space for youth to focus on a pathway to hope and recovery.”

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services, part of the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), oversees the program in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. The program is operated by Pacific Community Resources Society and began accepting the first clients on May 22, 2017. Central City Foundation, which built and owns the facility, provides The Crossing buildings and rural site to PHSA rent-free. 

“Ashnola at The Crossing provides highly-specialized, evidence-based treatment, education and support for youth who are at a critical stage in their life path,” said Lynn Pelletier, vice-president, BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services. “It’s a unique setting with strong connections to the region and the local community where young people can get the support they need.”

To access the program, youth and young adults need to be referred through their regional health authority. Priority access is given to indigenous youth and youth from rural and remote communities. The program works with youth and their families to develop individualized treatment plans.  

“Central City Foundation built The Crossing to be a residential treatment program to help youth with addictions,” said Jennifer Johnstone, president and CEO, Central City Foundation. “The Foundation and its donors and partners are thrilled to celebrate the successful first year of the new program.” 

Programming includes group, individual and family therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, life-skills training, high school completion, psycho-social education and planning and support for clients to return to the community. Staff and clinicians provide support that is sensitive to the impacts of past trauma and encourage participants to recognize their strengths and build resilience.

“We are delighted to celebrate this milestone with our valued partners,” said Ingrid Kastens, chief executive officer, Pacific Community Resources Society. “We are deeply aware that young people and their families trust us to deliver meaningful, high-quality services as our participants courageously take their next steps with us. We take this responsibility very seriously, and will do all we can to support young people on their healing journeys.” 

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) provides specialized health care services to individuals across BC with complex needs – including severe and persistent mental health and substance use issues. BCMHSUS works with regional health authorities, community partners and government to ensure the delivery of consistent, safe, quality care across the province. BCMHSUS leads knowledge exchange, health promotion and health literacy across the continuum of care. 

A leader in Canada in social purpose real estate, Central City Foundation has been bringing neighbours together for more than 100 years to improve the lives of people in need through grants, sustainable social purpose real estate and investments in facilities and programs. The Foundation owns buildings that provide low income housing and space and place for community organizations that are improving lives through unique early learning and education programs, daycares, health and family services, addiction treatment centres, and social enterprises.

Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) is an award-winning (47 awards) not-for-profit that serves the most vulnerable persons in B.C. by providing community social services from Vancouver to Keremeos. PCRS partners with individuals, businesses, agencies, and governments to ensure that people who are vulnerable or marginalized from society have access to effective, high-quality community resources. PCRS is committed to outreach, advocacy, and community development. PCRS identifies gaps in services and works to find solutions to address inequality and social issues such as poverty, child abuse, mental health, substance misuse, violence, unemployment, and homelessness for children, youth, and families.accredited, not-for-profit society providing quality social services in the Lower Mainland since 1984.

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit or follow us: Twitter @PHSAofBC.


For more information or to arrange an interview: 

BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services 
Heather Puzzella 
Communications Officer 
PHSA media line: 778-867-7472

Central City Foundation 
Carla Shore 
Communications Director 

accomplishments; BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services; mental health; Indigenous; patient experience; addiction
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