For Immediate Release
April 3, 2020
COWICHAN, B.C. – The Cowichan Leadership Group is grateful to Minister Judy Darcy, Island Health, and the BC Government for today’s announcement of a new Wellness and Recovery Centre in Cowichan Valley. The new centre will be located at 5878 York Road, Duncan and is set to open in fall 2020.
Services will include support for people living with addiction and mental health concerns and will bring together primary care, harm reduction, case management, overdose prevention, and on-site treatment in one location. The Centre will house Cowichan’s existing community mental health and substance use services, including outreach teams. The Centre will offer new services, including nursing, supports for people in their treatment and recovery, and improved access to treatment for opioid use disorder.
In October, 2019, the Cowichan Leadership Group — whose membership includes Mayors from the region, Chair of the Regional District, Chief of Cowichan Tribes, Cowichan’s MLA and MP, and Board Chair of Cowichan Valley School District, Cowichan Medical Health Officer for Island Health, Inspector for the RCMP — invited Minister Judy Darcy to tour Cowichan facilities and services to better understand the urgency for addictions treatment and wellness supports in the Cowichan Valley. Together with front-line mental health workers, the Leadership Group presented a proposal to the minister for augmented services. Earlier this spring, the Leadership Group followed up with letters to ten provincial ministries asking for their help in finding solutions to an escalating problem related to addictions issues in the Cowichan region.
Until the Centre is open, overdose prevention services will continue to be located at 221 Trunk Road and operated by the Canadian Mental Health Association – Cowichan Valley. The service is open 7 days a week from 1-7 p.m.
The Canadian Mental Health Association – Cowichan Valley Branch (CMHA) has operated the Overdose Prevention Service under contract and funding from Island Health since September 2017.
● Sonia Furstenau, MLA Cowichan Valley: “This project is another example of the incredible things the people of Cowichan can achieve by working together,” said Sonia Furstenau, MLA for the Cowichan Valley. “Having one, easily accessible place where people can come for mental health and substance use supports will contribute significantly to the health and wellness of our entire region.”
● Candace Spilsbury, Board Chair for the Cowichan Valley School District, “The Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District is extremely pleased by the announcement of a Wellness and Recovery Center in the Cowichan Valley”, said Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board. It will bring hope and comfort to our community to know those with mental health and substance use will be supported.”
● Michelle Staples, Mayor of City of Duncan, “Working together has given us the relationships we will need to get through these challenging times. This is such good news For everyone in our community at a time when we need the supports we have been asking for more than ever.”
● Aaron Stone, Chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District, “We are so thankful that these much needed resources will soon be available in the Cowichan Valley. People in our communities have long been seeking these supports to help them with mental health and addiction challenges. This will create hope and opportunity for greatly improved outcomes for those in need, and a pathway to a better quality of life for so many in our region. This investment is the direct result of the hard work and collaboration of many in our communities. These partnerships provide a strong foundation for a brighter future together. We are so thankful to so many.”
● Alistair MacGregor, MP, Cowichan – Malahat – Langford, “I appreciate and am grateful that the BC government has recognized the challenges in our community and is providing us with the resources we need to help people suffering from mental health concerns, substance abuse, and addictions.”
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