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Province gives funding to East Kootenay mental health and substance use supports

Cranbrook will get some support from the provincial government with more care spaces and staff.

B.C. Government officials said 10 new recovery beds will be added to the Recovery Ranch by Edgewood Health Network and 12 more staff will be hired in Cranbrook to support expanding services.

“Addiction has hit every family, every community. It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have a story about losing someone or people not being able to access care as quickly as they want,” said Sheila Malcolmson, B.C.’s Minister of Mental Health and Addiction. “Implementing these 10 new addiction treatment beds, and giving them priority to First Nations clients, means in the end, we’ll have more people incorporated in the healthcare system, we’ll get people the help they need, and we’ll be saving lives.”

The beds at Top of the World Ranch, are already in service with five reserved for young adult substance-use treatment and the other five saved for adult withdrawal management.

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Indigenous people within Interior Health will be given priority to access these spaces.

“We’re really grateful that the Ktunaxa Nation has such great experience and commitment to addiction treatment. We know more broadly, Indigenous people are disproportionately affected by the overdose crisis,” said Malcolmson.

In addition to the beds, the province is providing funding to expand existing mental health and substance-use supports.

B.C. government officials said this will include more healthcare workers in the intensive care management team, which supports people experiencing severe mental health and/or substance-use concerns and flexible substance-use treatment.

The funding will also add new early psychosis intervention services to support people in the early years of living with psychosis.

“If we can get treatment to people when they are very first diagnosed with psychosis, there is really effective treatment that can change the trajectory of their life and experience with psychosis,” said Malcolmson. “This is particularly aimed at young people.”

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