Up to eight supportive recovery beds coming to Oceanside

Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions, speaks to media in February 2021, following the release of the BC Coroners Service’s report on illicit drug toxicity deaths for 2020. || B.C. government photo
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Island Health has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for service providers to deliver programs for people living with substance use challenges in the Oceanside region.

The health authority’s Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) adult program aims to deliver and support services for five to eight residential recovery beds in Local Health Area 425, which includes Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay and Errington.

The service will deliver client-centred substance use focused services with the ability to support both stabilization and recovery based care, according to a release from the province. 

“I’m grateful to everyone who participated in the engagement process, to make sure services meet the needs of their communities and municipalities,” said Adam Walker, Parksville-Qualicum MLA. “These new services will help people get mental health and substance use support close to home.”

Island Health issued two other RFPs seeking service providers to deliver at least six sobering and assessment beds in Tofino and Ucluelet and eight beds in Nanaimo. Four of the Nanaimo beds will be new to the community, according to the release. The services will increase the access points for support and treatment for people living with substance use, the province said.

“These new programs will improve access for people living with substance use and enhance the range of services and treatments to support their personal path to wellness,” said Leah Hollins, board chair, Island Health. “We’re grateful to the communities, individuals and organizations who have informed and supported us throughout this process. Your input has been invaluable.”

Funding for the new services is part of the provincial government’s $500 million investment in Budget 2021 focused on building a comprehensive system of mental health and addictions in B.C.

“When people come forward for help with substance use, we want health care for them without delay,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions. “These new services will help transform addictions treatment and recovery care on central Vancouver Island where it is urgently needed.”

The RFPs were developed by Island Health through consultation with key community stakeholders this summer. Stakeholders provided input on items such as access, needs, service models, clinical pathways, cultural safety and community connections. The RFPs will close on Nov. 2, with services anticipated to be in place by March 31, 2022. 

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