A new, leading-edge centre for mental health and addiction treatment and research in British Columbia, located on the Riverview lands in Coquitlam, will replace the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in 2021.
The new 105-bed facility will treat people across the province who live with the most severe, complex substance use and mental health issues. Recovery and treatment services like these are a key part of the continuum of mental health and substance use care in B.C. as well as a vital part of addressing B.C.'s opioid crisis.
The new facility will feature dedicated space for research, knowledge exchange and education, as well as virtual technologies that will help us provide even more specialized services to our clients and patients. There will be rooms equipped with video recording and broadcast capabilities, full wifi connectivity throughout the facility, Telehealth to enable consults, and virtual care tools, including evidence-based e-mental health programs such as Breaking Free Online.
All client medical records at the new Centre for Mental Health and Addiction will be fully electronic, allowing care providers to spend more time caring for clients and less time waiting for information. This will also allow vulnerable clients to spend less time repeating their stories. Medication records will also be electronic, leading to better safety and fewer errors.
Most of our patients and clients have experienced traumatic events — often more than one.
This trauma plays a role in people's illnesses and in their experiences with the mental health care system. To help our patients feel comfortable and safe, we are integrating trauma-informed practice in every aspect of the centre's design. Examples include the following:
- All client bedrooms in the purpose-built, 105-bed residential treatment facility will be private single rooms with ensuite bathrooms.
- The centre is the first building of its kind in the Lower Mainland allowing lighting to adjust throughout the day. This feature will help patients who don't have normal sleep cycles due to past traumas or anti-psychotic medication. Current research recommends lighting patterns that are follow sun patterns during the day. This approach will people find a natural sleep pattern and reduce their need for sleeping medications.
- Furniture, fixtures, textures and colours will boost comfort and safety by providing a calm, healing environment.
- Exam rooms, counselling rooms, admission areas and other spaces will have two ways of entering and leaving.
Many partners are participating in the design of the centre including staff, physicians, the Indigenous community, and clients and their families.
The interior design will blend natural light, wood, stone and warm colours with the centre's unique environment and site history. Quiet places will help patients relax and spend time with loved ones given that maintaining meaningful relationships is an important part of recovery.
There will also be spaces for social and spiritual programs and activities. Clients will have access to community, cultural and recreational activities, as well as therapeutic, physical and vocational programs.
The location and design of the building aligns with BC Housing's vision and master plan for the redevelopment of the Riverview site. The plan prioritizes open, green spaces and therapeutic landscapes to promote space for healing. Outdoor space at the centre includes gardens, trees and other natural elements. All of these features play a role in wellness and recovery.
This therapeutic, trauma-informed space and health care model addresses the many needs of a client's or patient's recovery journey. We follow a complete framework for caring for clients on a case-by-case basis. Individual plans focus not only on mental wellness and substance-free living, but also on people's physical wellness, how they can better live a meaningful life, and their eventual transition to care in their home communities.
We look forward to welcoming clients in 2021 and replacing the outdated Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction.