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The Red Fish healing centre began operations as a new purpose-built treatment centre to help people living with complex mental health and addiction issues.
Red Fish, which opened on Oct. 12, replaces the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addictions and adds more capacity for people across BC.
The 105-bed healing centre provides trauma-informed and culturally safe care that works to treat mental illness and addictions at the same time.
“The Red Fish healing centre and its innovative care model supports different care needs in the same facility, which allows people to progress as their needs change on their journey to recovery,” said Sheila Malcolmson, minister of mental health and addictions.
According to the news release, the centre is designed to meet the needs of clients and patients with green spaces, natural light, private rooms and a supportive and therapeutic community.
The centre also includes research, education and teaching spaces for care providers while virtual technology allows providers to offer virtual services or clients to connect with loved ones.
The centre “is leading change by treating the whole person, providing care for mental health and substance-use issues simultaneously, and drawing on the most current research evidence and person-centred care models available,” adds Lynn Pelletier, vice-president, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services.
The Red Fish healing centre was built on the traditional territory of the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation, who helped design the building and its programming – including a house post at the entrance which was carved from a 600-year old tree and is the first to be erected on in 120 years.
The hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language, artwork, smudging and other cultural healing practices are incorporated throughout the centre.
“Today marks a special day for kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation as we bear witness to the opening of the Red Fish healing centre on our ancestral, traditional and unceded lands located at səmiq̓wəʔelə,” said Chief Ed Hall, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation.
“This day is also a powerful symbol of our people reconnecting with these lands, which have been a source of great healing, safety, sustenance and spirituality since time immemorial."