The Provincial Assessment Centre provides multi-disciplinary mental health services for referred individuals 14 years or older with a developmental disability and a concurrent mental illness, or behaviour issue.
The Provincial Assessment Centre (PAC) includes a 10-bed inpatient facility in Coquitlam, British Columbia, and outpatient services.
PAC is part of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services and is designated as a tertiary care mental health service under the Mental Health Act. PAC was previously operated by Community Living British Columbia since 2005, and was transferred to BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services in fall 2023 following a review of services.
Individuals with developmental disabilities and concurrent mental health challenges have highly specialized needs. Under BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, which provides care to individuals with the most complex mental health and substance use needs in the province, clients have access to specialized assessment and treatment services and health care professionals.
We will develop and implement an assessment and treatment plan with the full involvement of the individual and their support needs. The length of admission is determined by PAC clinical team's assessment of the presenting issue; it may be two weeks to 90 days.
The care team includes the following health care professionals:
- Community liaison nurse
- Occupational therapist
- Behavioural therapist
- Mental health support worker
- Music therapist
- Art therapist
PAC's clinical team develops and implements an assessment and treatment plan with the full involvement of the individual and their support needs.
The PAC in-patient facility provides multidisciplinary evaluation, treatment plans, and recommendations for on-going support and care in an individual's home and community environments.
The multi-disciplinary team collaborates with individuals and their support networks to understand the person's mental health and behavioural needs, functional strengths and capabilities and support needs within the community.
The PAC assessment involves:
- Inpatient assessment. The duration of stay is variable; the maximum is 90 days.
- Psychiatric assessment and care.
- Specialized, multi-disciplinary care 24-hours daily.
- Utilization of evidence-based practice.
- Use of a developmental approach.
- Collaboration and transition planning with families and agencies.
- Defining and promoting realistic, achievable function.
- Building continuity of care.
Each individual at PAC has their own bedroom, and are encouraged to bring in items of familiarity and comfort, like a blanket, stuffed animal, etc. All valuables brought into PAC are catalogued at admission, with tablets, etc. stored in the nursing station between uses.
It is important for the individual to have their own money at PAC, so personal items can be purchased during their admission. Please bring cash, as PAC cannot cash cheques and does not process individual debit or credit cards.
Activities are implemented in between assessment programming, and include:
- Gym facilities on site
- Secured outdoor courtyard for outside access
- Small library on site
- Art and crafts materials available any time
- School learning is available and implemented when appropriate
Weekly progress reports are circulated by the community liaison office. An interim report is available at the interim meeting. A discharge report is provided at the discharge meeting.
Extensive reports from each discipline involved are mailed to the facilitator/social worker and doctor/psychiatrist approximately two weeks after the individual's discharge.
The PAC multi-disciplinary team will assess the stability and safety of the individual. Most individuals will enjoy supported community outings and assessments.
Research 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. The community liaison office will provide weekly updates to family and caregivers.
Phone calls and visitation are allowed based on each individual's progress and stability. Phone and visitation privileges are determined on a weekly basis during clinical team meetings.