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New substance use treatment beds coming to Interior Health communities

Beds will be run by non-profits in Kamloops, Kelowna, Lillooet and Williams Lake
Sheila Malcolmson, the B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, speaks at an event in Kamloops on Wednesday afternoon. Photo courtesy Sheila Malcolmson Twitter feed.

More substance use treatment and recovery spaces are being made available in Interior Health communities.

A total of 35 beds will be added to Interior Health’s substance use care services, which include 20 treatment beds, 14 transition and stabilization beds, and one new withdrawal management bed, according to Sheila Malcolmson, the provincial minister of mental health and addictions.

“When people make the very courageous decision to step forward and say that they need help with addiction or a substance use challenge, we want them to be met with care and met with dignity,” said Malcolmson.

“Working with our partners, our government will continue to build that seamless and comprehensive continuum of mental health and substance use care that people deserve. It’s an incredible act of bravery that people recognize that help is needed, and to reach out and ask. And there is so much more for us to do.”

Malcolmson made the announcement in Kamloops on Wednesday, as A New Tomorrow Treatment Solutions will receive seven adult men’s treatment beds, six adult women’s treatment beds and seven adult stabilization transition beds that should be available by October.

Dr. Mandy Manak, with A New Tomorrow Treatment Solutions, said that addictions not only threaten the health of citizens, but it also devastates communities.

“It is multifarious, it affects all of our lives in one way or another. It is complex and it requires public and private practices working better together to provide more support for those people battling addictions so their addiction has less impact on their housing, their employment and their mental health.”

In Kelowna, seven adult women’s treatment beds and two adult women’s stabilization beds will be made available at Bridge Youth and Family Services, scheduled to open in September.

Five new stabilization beds are now available at the Lillooet Friendship Centre and applications are being accepted, and one new withdrawal-management bed is being added to AXIS - Renner House in Williams Lake.

New in-person outpatient withdrawal management stabilization teams were also announced for Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon, to help enable patients to receive care and medication prescriptions, in their own homes.

Malcolmson also plugged a new Virtual Addiction Medicine Clinic that provides virtual medicine services throughout the region and is operated at Kelowna Mental Health & Substance Use (MHSU).

“I would say in almost every area — more to come,” Malcolmson added. “This won’t be the last announcement that we make for Interior Health and we’re very grateful to the health authority for continuing to do the RFP process, very grateful to the not-for-profits that respond to those tenders, so we’ll have more news in the months and year ahead.”

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Trevor Crawley

About the Author: Trevor Crawley

Trevor Crawley has been a reporter with the Cranbrook Townsman and Black Press in various roles since 2011.
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