A new wellness and recovery centre has opened up in the Cowichan Valley to support those living with substance abuse.
Island Health says an integrated healthcare approach will be taken at the centre in an effort to “save lives,” with the centre offering a broad range of mental health and substance use services.
The new wellness centre, which officially opened on November 1, is located at 5878 York Rd. in North Cowichan and is operated by Island Health in partnership with Lookout Housing and Health Society.
According to Island Health, the services offered will be focused on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery – including more capacity for inhalation services and access to vital healthcare resources such as clinical areas and exam rooms.
“There’s a rising tide of need for mental health and substance use services in every part of B.C.,” says Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This new centre will make life-saving services and treatment available at one location. I am grateful for the partnership between Island Health and Lookout Housing and Health Society to provide a comprehensive and caring approach that will connect people with the services they need and support them on their wellness journeys.”
The wellness centre will have teams present on-site from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm daily. Island Health says services will be offered at the new centre as well as by outreach teams of healthcare providers that are based at the centre.
Island Health says the below services will be offered at the wellness centre:
- Life-saving harm reduction and overdose prevention services – overdose prevention services are open 1 pm to 7 pm daily (access for all)
- On-site treatment services, such as addictions medicine and Tablet Injectable Opioid Agonist Therapy (TiOAT) – TiOAT is open 10:30 pm to 7 pm daily (access for all, based on eligibility criteria);
- Basic services focused on physical health and delivered by doctors and nurses, ranging from wound care and STI screening to treatment of concurrent diseases such as diabetes and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
- Case management; and
- Referrals and links to other services.
Health Canada has provided a grant totalling more than $1.5 million for TiOAT via its Substance Use and Addictions Program funding.
Island Health has also established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to encourage open and transparent dialogue between the community, partners and the Centre’s operators.
“We are grateful to all our community members who have generously volunteered their time to the Community Advisory Committee,” says Leah Hollins, Chair of Island Health’s Board of Directors. “Their insights will be invaluable to the success and sustainability of the Wellness and Recovery Centre.”
The CAC’s participants include members of the public, local government, first responders, Cowichan Tribes, service providers and residential/commercial neighbours and meetings will occur regularly.
More information can be found at Cowichan Wellness Recovery Centre.