The Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction is a 94-bed facility that provides integrated treatment for adults (19+) with the most severe and complex concurrent disorders in British Columbia. It is the only program of its kind in the province.
A concurrent disorder is a combination of a severe mental illness and substance use disorder—note that both challenges must be present for this diagnosis. For example, people with a concurrent disorder might have both schizophrenia and an opioid addiction, or post-traumatic stress disorder and an alcohol addiction.
People with concurrent disorders are vulnerable, often living with other challenges that can further complicate their concurrent disorder and make recovery challenging:
- Additional mental health challenges such as anxiety
- A chronic illness
- A history of poor health or dental care due to social barriers
- A history of abuse, adverse childhood experiences, or other trauma
- Unstable housing
Treating concurrent disorders means that our teams treat the whole person by addressing their mental illness, addiction, chronic health conditions, traumatic experiences, triggers and more. Care is evidence-based, which means it is informed by research, and trauma-informed, meaning staff work to ensure that you feel safe, secure, and supported—especially if you have experienced trauma in the past.
We believe that people, when properly supported, have the strength and resiliency to manage their lives. This is why we focus on your strengths rather than solely on your symptoms and problems. You are a key member of your treatment team. Treatment is not happening to you—it is happening with you, and you are actively participating.
After you are accepted into the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, your home health authority liaison will provide you with a brochure outlining what to expect from the program and what to bring with you.
We will build a customized care plan for you based on your needs, challenges and history. Most people complete their treatment within six to nine months, but some stay longer.
Your care plan may include some or all of the following:
- General health care from a physician, specialist or dentist, as needed
- Group counselling or individual consultations
- Music and art therapy
- Physical, occupational, and recreational therapy, including yoga and outdoor activities
- Detox and stabilization
- Opioid agonist therapy, or medication that treats the symptoms of opioid withdrawal
- Other pharmaceutical therapy (medication)
- Mental health and addiction diagnoses
Your care plan will be overseen by a care team that may include some or all of the following:
- Physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists
- Social workers
- Music and art therapists
- Physical, occupational and recreational therapists
- Mental health and addiction support workers
- Peer workers
- Infection control practitioners
- Indigenous care coordinator
- Spiritual care coordinator
- Yoga therapist
We divide the program into two phases. After consultation with your treatment team, you may receive day passes and see visitors during both stages of treatment.
1. Assessment and stabilization
This stage takes place in a locked unit and lasts between one and three months. During this stage, you'll be supported and treated as you detox from any past substance use, and assessed for your medical and other treatment needs.
2. Treatment and rehabilitation
During this stage, you'll move to an open treatment unit, where you'll begin the rest of your integrated treatment plan. This usually takes between three and six months but will vary based on your individual needs and goals. You'll engage in group therapy and the treatment options detailed in the list above. We expect you to participate in at least three daily groups.
Occasional substance use relapses are often part of people's recovery journeys and are not a sign of failure. If you experience a relapse and would like to continue your treatment at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, we will continue to work with you.
Treatment at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction is only part of your recovery journey. We'll work with you and your local health authority to make sure you continue to receive the care and support you need after completing the program with us.
The Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction is for people who live with complex and severe concurrent disorders. For admission, you must have both a complex mental illness and substance use disorder. The program is designed for people who have experienced several relapses, and whose treatment needs are beyond what your local community health resources or health authority can offer.
We offer treatment for both voluntary and involuntary (certified under B.C.'s Mental Health Act) clients and patients.
We accept people who are on probation, as well as people who are using methadone or Suboxone.
To receive treatment at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, you need a referral from a health care professional.
Research evidence shows that people are most likely to stay in recovery when they are supported by a family member or loved one. We encourage you to stay connected to your loved one. We will involve you in their treatment as we are able.
If your loved one is going to begin treatment at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, we invite you to download and read this handbook for caregivers and family members.
We encourage you to visit during the following hours:
- Monday to Friday, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
- Saturday, Sunday and long weekends, 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
We offer a support group for families of clients and patients at the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction. For more information, visit our Family Support Group page.