On October 29, 2021, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Sheila Malcolmson, Chief Ed Hall of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, Provincial Health Services Authority CEO Dr. David Byres, and other important partners and stakeholders celebrated the official opening of the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, a new, state-of-the-art, 105-bed treatment centre for people with the most complex, co-occurring mental health and substance use issues in the province.
Dr. David Byres, above, speaking at the official opening ceremony.
“The Red Fish Healing Centre and its innovative care model supports different care needs in the same facility, which allows people to progress as their needs change on their journey to recovery,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“I am grateful to all the partners who worked so hard to make the Red Fish Healing Centre a reality. It is an important step in our work to transform mental health and substance-use care in B.C.” - Sheila Malcolmson
The model of care, which determines how treatment is planned and provided, is based on the newest and best evidence. It is patient-centred and trauma-informed, meaning it prioritizes the consideration of an individual’s unique experiences, needs and strengths when planning their care.
Now, for the first time, British Columbians can see inside the new Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in this Unveiling video.
“The opening of the Red Fish Healing Centre is a milestone for the province as a whole,” says Lynn Pelletier, the vice president of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. “For years, mental health and addiction were misunderstood but the future really is brighter than the past.”
The centre, located on səmiq̓ʷəʔelə, formerly the Riverview lands, is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, a house post commissioned by the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation and trees of over 100 years old, all of which contribute to healing and recovery. Clients also have access to therapeutic gardens where they can grow and tend to plants and herbs.
“Today marks a special day for kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation as we bear witness to the opening of the Red Fish Healing Centre on our ancestral, traditional and unceded lands,” said Chief Ed Hall, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation.
“This day is also a powerful symbol of our people reconnecting with these lands, which have been a source of great healing, safety, sustenance and spirituality since time immemorial.” - Chief Ed Hall
The facility features bright, spacious units, private client bedrooms, a therapeutic community with a fully fitted out kitchen, fitness centre, art room and music room, and the Hummingbird Room where clients can participate in spiritual ceremonies, such as smudging.
Belle Beach-Alcock, an Indigenous Care Coordinator, shows how the Hummingbird Room will provide a space for spiritual healing activities.
“No two client journeys are the same,” says Kathryn Embacher, the senior director of complex concurrent disorders at the Red Fish Healing Centre. “That’s why at Red Fish, clients receive treatment based on their individual needs and strengths, and are supported by an interdisciplinary care team including psychologists, psychiatrists, physicians, social workers, Indigenous care coordinators, and many more.”
For more information, visit the Red Fish web page.