(Crescent House/Island Crisis Care Society)

The provincial government announced they have expanded existing mental health and addictions care services in the Nanaimo area. 

According to a new release, four new sobering and assessment beds and four new stabilization beds have been added to assisted living and specialized services, providing safe places where people can be connected to life-saving services and support. 

“People in Nanaimo with substance-use challenges need urgent access to services right here in our community,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. 

“These new sobering, assessment and stabilization beds are an important part of the full continuum of mental-health and substance-use care that we are building for people who need these life-saving services.”

The sobering and assessment beds opened April 4th and are operated by Vancouver Island Mental Health Society at Balmoral House.

These beds are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering a safe place for people under significant influence of substances to rest and be monitored.  

While there, they can be connected to other health and social services and can access resources to meet their basic needs.

“Sobering and assessment beds provide a safe place where acutely intoxicated individuals can sleep, be assessed and receive basic services and supports,” said Taryn O’Flanagan, executive director of the Vancouver Island Mental Health Society. 

“People are supported by a team of staff that are compassionate, non-judgmental and ready to provide client-centred supports to meet the needs of the individual.”

The stabilization beds opened on April 11th at Crescent House and are operated by Island Crisis Care Society. 

These beds can support people for as long as 30 days and also provide opportunity to connect with services to support their health and healing.

Funding for these beds is part of the Province’s $500-million Budget 2021 investment, focused on building a comprehensive system of mental-health and addictions care.

“As we continue to lose lives to the extremely toxic illicit drug supply, these new substance-use services are welcome news for our community,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan.

“They will provide our most vulnerable residents with an opportunity to be in a safe place where they can get connected to the supports that can save their lives and get them on the path to healing.”

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