Research shows that over half of people with a substance use disorder will, at some point, also experience a mental health issue. That’s why it’s important to treat mental illness and addiction at the same time. With the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, we are transforming care by treating the whole person, and we’re doing so in a state-of-the-art facility.
The Red Fish Healing Centre has been purpose built with the client in mind.
“The benefit of purpose-built facility is that we can design our programming first, and then build around it,” says Lynn Pelletier, the vice president of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.
“That’s what we’ve done here at the Red Fish Healing Centre. This allowed us to apply the latest principles in design for recovery — we’ve got windows with lots of natural light, we have a therapeutic community for all our group programming, and we have individual rooms that protect clients’ dignity.”
The centre has been developed in close partnership with the Kwikwetlem First Nation, on whose traditional, unceded territory the facility is located. They have been a valuable partner from the beginning, and have participated in naming the facility, co-designing certain spaces, helping ensure our care is culturally safe, and more.
“The lands here are in the core territory of Kwikwetlem First Nation,” says Chief Ed Hall of the Kwikwetlem First Nation. “The grounds are very sacred, and we’re thoughtful to the idea of working with the provincial government to get people on a path to better mental health here.”
The centre will help people living with concurrent disorders, where both complex mental health and substance use issues are present.
“I spent the last 10 years trying to recover, and I struggled to do that,” says Mark Brady, a former client of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. “I could never get on top of the addiction problem and I realized there was a great deal of depression going on. In a program like the Red Fish Healing Centre, you’re allowed to heal at a pace and place you’re comfortable with. It really lets you deal with the mental health and addictions together.”
Opening in fall 2021, the Red Fish Healing Centre will have 105 beds and will provide seamless, trauma-informed and integrated care to those with the most complex mental health and substance use challenges in B.C.