Hope and healing: Cowichan Valley Wellness and Recovery Centre opens

An integrated health-care approach that will save lives and support those living with substance use is the cornerstone of the new Cowichan Valley Wellness and Recovery Centre, which officially opened on November 1.

The Centre, based at 5878 York Road in North Cowichan, is operated by Island Health in partnership with Lookout Housing and Health Society. Together, these organizations will offer a broad range of mental health and substance use services focused on prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery – including more capacity for inhalation services and access to vital health-care resources such as clinical areas and exam rooms.

“There’s a rising tide of need for mental health and substance use services in every part of B.C.,” says Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This new centre will make life-saving services and treatment available at one location. I am grateful for the partnership between Island Health and Lookout Housing and Health Society to provide a comprehensive and caring approach that will connect people with the services they need and support them on their wellness journeys.”

Teams are present at the Wellness and Recovery Centre from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily. Supports include: 

  • Life-saving harm reduction and overdose prevention services – overdose prevention services are open 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily (access for all)
  • On-site treatment services, such as addictions medicine and Tablet Injectable Opioid Agonist Therapy (TiOAT) – TiOAT is open 10:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily (access for all, based on eligibility criteria); 
  • Basic services focused on physical health and delivered by doctors and nurses, ranging from wound care and STI screening to treatment of concurrent diseases such as diabetes and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease);
  • Case management; and 
  • Referrals and links to other services. 

Services will be provided at the Centre, as well as by outreach teams of health-care providers who are based at the Centre and support people in the community. Health Canada has provided a grant totalling more than $1.5 million for TiOAT via its Substance Use and Addictions Program funding.

Island Health has also established a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to encourage open and transparent dialogue between the community, partners and the Centre’s operators. 

“We are grateful to all our community members who have generously volunteered their time to the Community Advisory Committee,” says Leah Hollins, Chair of Island Health’s Board of Directors. “Their insights will be invaluable to the success and sustainability of the Wellness and Recovery Centre.”

The CAC’s participants include members of the public, local government, first responders, Cowichan Tribes, service providers and residential/commercial neighbours. Its first meeting was held in October 2021, and meetings will occur regularly.

For more information, please visit Cowichan Wellness Recovery Centre

Pictures and B-roll available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7sjvq8xkghmk1pu/AACyLwVtWsI_jAV3k86EZWcVa?dl=0