The official start of construction of the new Centre for Mental Health and Addiction took place on the Riverview lands on Nov. 17, 2017.
Premier John Horgan, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Judy Darcy, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson, Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) CEO Carl Roy and Councillor John Peters of the Kwikwetlem First Nation officially broke ground on the future site.
The new 105-bed centre will offer specialized residential treatment to adults with severe mental health and addictions challenges, with the goal of helping to stabilize their illness and move forward with rehabilitation and recovery. It will replace the current Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, and is slated to open its doors in late 2019.
Government officials and BCMHSUS/PHSA leaders and staff were joined by special guests sharing their personal stories living with mental health and substance use issues, and what it means to be one step closer to opening this new facility.
Curtis Jameson, a current patient of the Burnaby Centre, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 17, and formed a dependency on drugs and alcohol at a young age to cope. He was referred to the Burnaby Centre where he began his journey to regain control over his life.
“The staff and the structure have been great. I’m supported to make decisions, and it has helped me to learn to be around other people. I feel more in control,” said Curtis about his treatment at the Burnaby Centre.
Lisa Kofod’s nephew also received treatment at the Burnaby Centre, and she shared the difficulties she and her family members experienced while supporting her nephew during his journey to recovery. While staff were knowledgeable and caring, the Burnaby Centre itself did not foster the healing environment needed for patients and family members alike. She became involved with the planning of the new facility, using her own personal experience to help shape a facility that would promote healing and wellness, and better support families and their loved ones.
“I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the planning meetings associated with this new facility. I’ve been able to see firsthand how much effort, experience and compassion is going into each stage of its development. I again feel hopeful.”
The new centre will feature individual rooms and therapeutic design elements to support recovery, such as healing spaces, natural light, Indigenous artwork and views of the Riverview lands. Patients will receive care in a safe, secure and inviting environment, designed to offer the right supports at a time when their illness is most acute. The facility also includes open and inviting spaces for families to come and visit and be part of their loved one's treatment and path to recovery.
“Client and family-centred care has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds in the design of this facility, and will continue to be as we build it,” said Lynn Pelletier, vice-president of Mental Health & Substance Use Services for PHSA. “We are proud to be one step closer to opening a facility that will support people on their journey to recovery, and help them return to healthy living in their communities.”
The new Centre for Mental Health and Addiction is one of two projects that will create a health district at the north end of the Riverview site, including Maples Adolescent Treatment Centre for youth and Community Living British Columbia’s Provincial Assessment Centre, both also under construction.
To learn more, visit: http://www.bcmhsus.ca/about/developments-in-care/centre-for-mental-health-and-addiction.
Please watch a rendering video of the new Centre: