The B.C. government announced this week it is funding 100 new treatment and recovery beds around the province, with one-fifth of them slated for Nanaimo.
According to the B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, the province will partner with the John Howard Society on 15 beds and with Edgewood Treatment Centre on five beds.
Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson said the beds will help people get the addictions care they need.
“We are thrilled that the funding will create more than 100 new public beds in communities across B.C., even more than we anticipated when we announced 50 to 70 beds last summer,” she said. “There’s more to do, but we are working hard to build up a strong system of addictions and mental health care.”
About half of the 100 beds provincewide are arrangements to convert private-pay beds to fully funded public ones. The ministry press release says this will improve access for those who can’t pay private rates and will cut wait times for treatment.
Joel Hughes, clinical director at Edgewood, said the ministry’s announcement on treatment and recovery spaces couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The social isolation felt by so many over this past year has had a disastrous impact on those suffering with substance-use challenges in our province,” he said. “This increase in beds will provide the necessary treatment for so many at a very crucial time and will most definitely save lives and help put families back together.”
The provincial government is providing $13 million for the initiative, which will be administered through the Canadian Mental Health Association in consultation with the province and health authorities.
“This investment is such an important step toward a vision where more substance-use treatment and recovery supports are available at the right time for more people,” said
Jonny Morris, CEO of the CMHA’s B.C. division, in the release.