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Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addiction

The Burnaby Centre has been replaced by the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction, a new 105-bed facility that provides integrated treatment for adults (19+) with the most severe and complex concurrent disorders in British Columbia.
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We fill a gap in service, meeting the complex needs of people who are homeless or living in unstable housing, who are vulnerable and who are affected by significant physical and mental health issues.

This program accepts clients on probation, as well as those using methadone.

Services we offer

  • Consultation
  • Assessment
  • Stabilization
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Education/Family Support

Visiting hours

Visiting hours are noted below:
  • Monday to Friday: 3:00pm-4:30pm & 6:00pm 8:00pm
  • Saturday, Sunday & long weekends: 1:00pm-4:30pm & 6:00pm-8:00pm


Step-by-step process

Our programs are based on individual recovery and care planning for each person coming into the BCMHA. We offer a wide variety of professional support to meet the client’s needs.

Each client will be assigned a multidisciplinary team that will work with them on care planning.

The program is divided into two phases: Assessment/Stabilization followed by Treatment/Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

Transitions in care 

After the initial Assessment/Stabilization period of approximately one to three months, which takes place in locked units, the client will transfer to one of the two open treatment units for Treatment/Psychosocial Rehabilitation.

In the treatment units, many different clinical staff members will support the client in achieving their goals.

All clients are expected to engage in group therapy treatment that focuses on healthy living and addiction and mental health issues, including a minimum of three daily groups.

While at BCMHA, we will ensure clients have the opportunity to stay in contact with their home health authority liaison to discuss progress and make plans for their return to the home community.

How long it takes

The amount of time spent at the BCMHA will vary depending on the client’s individual needs.

Most clients complete their treatment within six to nine months. Nine months is the maximum length of stay.
Preparing for treatment 

Your home health authority liaison will provide you with a client brochure outlining what to expect from the program and what to bring.

Our Team

A multidisciplinary team of professionals with specialized expertise in treating substance addictions and mental health disorders will collaborate with clients to meet their treatment goals.

The team includes psychiatrists, physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, social workers, a pharmacist, a dietician, recreation therapists, psychologists, mental health & addiction support workers, art therapists, music therapists, a spiritual care practitioner, a peer support coordinator, an acupuncturist, a yoga therapist, a physiotherapist and a teacher.

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Learn more about the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.

What is a concurrent disorder?

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

Specialized, customized treatment for concurrent disorders

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.

Care plan: What to expect

After you are accepted into the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (now Red Fish Healing 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:

  • Psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • 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
  • Education
  • Nutrition
  • Acupuncture

Your care plan will be overseen by a care team that may include some or all of the following:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Music and art therapists
  • Physical, occupational and recreational therapists
  • Mental health and addiction support workers
  • Peer workers
  • Infection control practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Indigenous care coordinator
  • Spiritual care coordinator
  • Teacher
  • Acupuncturist
  • Yoga therapist

Stages of treatment

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.

What if I relapse?

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.

Planning to go home

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.

Is the Red Fish Healing Centre for Mental Health and Addiction right for you?

The Red Fish Healing Centre (formerly 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.

Information for families

Stay involved

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.

Family handbook

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.

Get support from other families

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.

SOURCE: Burnaby Centre for Mental Health & Addiction ( )
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