Friday, March 22, 2019

Mobile Unit to bring mental health and addictions help to Northwest

 BC Government Cabinet Minister Judy Darcy was in Terrace on Thursday to
introduce new mental health  
and addiction services for the Northwest 

A retro-fitted ambulance will be the vehicle for a new program of services for those in need of  mental health and addictions support in the Northwest.

An announcement Thursday from Judy Darcy, the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions charted the plan for the new service that is designed to build the capacity of local primary and community care services that should help to reduce pressure on local emergency departments and emergency services, while also providing for coordinated holistic care.

In a statement to celebrate the introduction of the service the Minister described the new service as a lifeline for the Northwest.

“Meeting people where they’re at, with the services they need, when they need them is one of the innovative ways we are ensuring people living with mental health and addictions challenges have access to the supports they deserve. The mobile unit will be a lifeline for people in the Northwest, with services right in their own communities so they can find a unique pathway to healing, and a pathway to hope.”

To bring home some of the impact of the overdose crisis in the province, the Minister noted how 88 people in the Northern Health Region and 11 in the Northwest Health region had died in just the last year.

The Minister also noted that earlier this week officials had released information to show that six more in the  Northern Health service region have died from overdoses in January alone.

Ms. Darcy added that those who have died shouldn't be remembered as statistics but more as our neighbours, co-workers and friends who have struggled with the addictions crisis and that is where the province is putting is assistance towards.

She also made note of some of the other services that the Horgan government intends to bring to the Terrace region in the last year, pointing towards the Foundry Youth Centre program as another service that will help to deliver assistance to residents of the region.

Based out of Terrace, the mobile unit introduced on Thursday will begin its service to communities across the Northwest in early April and is part of a new unit for the Northwest Health Service Delivery area.

The department to be known as the Specialized Community Service Program will provide a range of care initiatives, among some of those services.

Mental health and substance-use services and referrals

Take home naloxone kits and training

Basic wound care

Assistance navigating resources for housing, finances, employment, health cards, dental and eye care

Colleen Nyce, Chair of the Northern Health Board noted how the program will help to connect residents of the area with the services that are available.

“Northern Health places a strong focus of ensuring care in the right place, addressing stigma and improving access to services. This mobile unit helps support those goals by providing direct access, education and support to those people who may face barriers in access, and the ultimate intention is to link individuals back in to services within their community.”

You can learn more about the program here.

For more items of note related to Northern Health in the Northwest see our archive pages here.

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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