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BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services provides expert, evidence-informed care for people and their families experiencing significant mental health and substance use concerns.

Quality care for BC

  • A new state-of-the-art treatment centre on the Riverview lands will care for adults with complex and severe substance use and mental health challenges. The 105-bed purpose-built Centre for Mental Health and Addiction will replace the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction and add 11 new beds. The facility will incorporate natural light and views of the Riverview lands and surrounding area, and combine therapeutic treatment elements and safety and security features to support patients on their path to recovery.
  • The first of its kind in BC, the Heartwood Centre for Women is a 28-bed residential substance use treatment program for women with significant substance dependence, mental health concerns, and primary health care needs. Heartwood offers a range of residential treatment services supported by an interdisciplinary team. Since it opened in 2011, the Heartwood Centre has supported more than 700 women on their unique journey to recovery.
  • Available province-wide in BC, Bounce Back® is a free, short-term mood improvement program developed in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association – BC Division. Bounce Back® has been shown to help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety by half, and over 90 per cent of participants say they would recommend it to a friend or family member. Bounce Back® is also available in some regions of Ontario and Manitoba.
  • The only service of its kind in BC, Ashnola at The Crossing is a unique 22-bed residential substance use treatment program for youth and young adults age 17 to 24. Ashnola at The Crossing provides specialized, evidence-based treatment, education and support in a natural environment. It serves a unique age range of clients who are at a critical stage in their development and life path.

World-wide impact

  • The Short Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START) makes the challenging task of assessing patients for their risk of violent behaviour towards themselves and others easier for physicians, nurses, social workers and other care staff. Created by BCMHSUS researchers and used worldwide, this clinical guide is considered one of the most useful violence risk assessment tools in the world. START has been translated into eight languages and has been incorporated into clinical practice and large-scale research programs in 15 countries.

Expanding patient care

  • In response to the opioid crisis, BCMHSUS quickly partnered with two not-for-profit agencies to create 30 new substance-use treatment beds for adults from across the province. The treatment beds will be evaluated to help determine the most effective substance-use treatment models to be implemented in the longer term. The beds support emergency harm reduction measures such as overdose prevention sites and expanded access to naloxone and Suboxone.
  • BC is one of the first provinces in Canada to move responsibility for inmate health care services from a ministry of justice to a ministry of health, as recommended by the College of Family Physicians of Canada. BCMHSUS assumed responsibility for the delivery of health care services at all provincial correctional centres operated by BC Corrections in October 2017. This will improve the quality and continuity of health care services for this population during their time in correctional facilities and as they reintegrate into the community.
SOURCE: Accomplishments ( )
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