BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) opened Ashnola at The Crossing in March to BC youth and young adults struggling with substance use problems. BCMHSUS also contracted two services providers to provide 30 new substance use treatment beds for adults and is supporting access to these programs.
The 22-bed Ashnola at The Crossing program takes a holistic approach to the treatment and care of young people aged 17-24, in the natural environment just outside of Keremeos.
Young people in this age group experience many changes in their lives as they transition into adulthood. They may develop issues because of anxiety or stress related to problems at home, pressures at school or conflict with a peer or friend. These issues can be complex and difficult to treat in young people, especially if they develop a mental illness along with a primary substance use problem.
The comprehensive programming at Ashnola at The Crossing includes group, individual and family therapy, therapeutic recreational activities, life-skills training, high school completion, psycho-social education and aftercare planning and support. Understanding there is no one-size-fits all approach, the team works with each individual to help them achieve their unique treatment goals to support positive coping and a return to healthy living.
Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS), the care provider of Ashnola at The Crossing, believes an important part of clients’ recovery is developing positive relationships with themselves, family, friends, cultural/spiritual influences and nature. Staff have developed unique and engaging activities for clients that include activities such as ‘mindful hiking’ where they explore their connection with nature. Clients also have a chance to build on life skills such as cooking – clients come together to create food plans and make a meal as a team. Family members are also welcomed to participate in group activities, to further focus on relationship building in a safe and supportive environment.
The new adult substance use treatment beds are part of the provincial response to the opioid crisis. The Phoenix Drug & Alcohol Recovery and Education Society in Surrey provides 20 of the additional beds. The other 10 beds are provided by Cedars at Cobble Hill located in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island.