Thursday, December 1 2022


People living with complex mental illness and addictions have access to a specially designed new treatment center with an innovative and progressive model of care – the first of its kind in North America.

The Red Fish Healing Center for Mental Health and Addiction is a 105-bed center that offers multiple levels of care within the same facility to help people move towards recovery and eventually return to their home community.

“The Red Fish Healing Center and its innovative model of care support different care needs within the same facility, allowing people to progress as their needs change on their journey to recovery,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “I am grateful to all of the partners who have worked so hard to make the Red Fish Healing Center a reality. This is an important step in our work to transform mental health and addiction care in British Columbia.

The Red Fish Healing Center simultaneously treats mental illnesses and addictions. People will receive care that is trauma-informed, culturally safe, and focused on mental and physical well-being. The goal is to help people throughout their recovery so that they can gradually move on to care in their communities. All elements of the Red Fish Healing Center, including green spaces, natural light, private guest rooms and a therapeutic community, are designed with the needs of clients and patients in mind. Research shows that a client’s physical environment is an important part of their healing, especially if they have experienced trauma.

“There is no single treatment model,” said Lynn Pelletier, vice president, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. “The Red Fish Healing Center for Mental Health and Addiction is leading change by treating the whole person, providing care for mental health and addiction issues simultaneously, and drawing on the most recent research evidence. and available person-centered care models. “

The center also includes spaces for research, education and teaching where care providers can work with researchers to build capacity within the program and across the province and ensure new knowledge is put into practice. . Technologies and virtual health infrastructure will also enable health care providers to offer virtual psychiatric and medical care services to clients, and allow clients to connect with loved ones and support services across the province.

“Today marks a special day for the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation as we witness the opening of the Red Fish Healing Center on our ancestral, traditional and unceded lands located in səmiq̓wəʔelə,” said Chief Ed Hall, First Nation. kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem). “This day is also a powerful symbol of our people reconnecting with these lands, which have been a source of great healing, security, sustenance and spirituality from time immemorial. We are proud that our language, culture and healing practices are integrated throughout the center, from the addition of our name in han̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ (θəqiʔ ɫəwʔənəq leləm) to the use of traditional healing practices such as cleansing and lelm. powerful display of the House Post at the entrance to the center. Carved from a 600-year-old tree, it reminds visitors that they are in our sacred lands and stand tall, representing a warrior who protects the people who come here in search of healing.

Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation helped design the center and therapy programs to help ensure care at Red Fish is culturally safe. The Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ language is used throughout the center, and the Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation has commissioned a number of works of art, including an Indigenous mural on the wall of the Hummingbird Hall, a space where spiritual healing activities such as purification and a house pole, the first to be erected in the ancestral homeland of kʷikʷəƛ̓əm in 120 years.

The center replaces the Burnaby Center for Mental Health and Addiction and adds increased provincial capacity to support people with the most serious and complex addiction and mental health issues. It opened on October 12 on səmiq̓ʷəʔelə, or Grand Heron Square, the land formerly known as Riverview.

To note: For the correct presentation of First Nations proper names in this press release, see:


Selina Robinson, MP for Coquitlam-Maillardville –

“For too long, treatment and recovery services have been neglected in British Columbia, and many people have struggled to get the care they need. I am grateful that this unique healing center in North America will provide trauma-informed and culturally safe care to residents of Coquitlam and across British Columbia. This is an important step in our goal of transforming mental health and addiction care in British Columbia.

Fin Donnelly, MP for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain –

“We know from research that combining mental health and addiction treatment can make a huge difference for people living with addiction issues. The Red Fish Healing Center is an important part of the seamless and effective mental health and addictions system that British Columbians need and deserve. I am grateful to the Province, the Kwikwetlem First Nation and all partners involved in creating this facility, which will provide evidence-based care in a safe and welcoming environment, to the people of Coquitlam and the rest of the British Columbia.

David Byres, President and CEO, Provincial Health Services Authority –

“It takes vision, hard work and dedication to create a world-class facility like the Red Fish Healing Center for Mental Health and Addiction. I am very proud of our team at BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, as well as our government, community and kʷikʷəƛ̓əm partners, for all they have done to make this a reality. This center will benefit people across British Columbia as they go through the difficult work of healing and recovery.

Shayne Ramsay, CEO, BC Housing –

“Along with our redevelopment partners, the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm First Nation, we are delighted to welcome the Red Fish Healing Center to səmiq̓ʷəʔelə. Facilities like the Red Fish Healing Center are a critical part of developing an integrated community of excellence in mental health care on the land. We are grateful for the hospitality of the Kʷikʷəƛ̓əm peoples as they welcome this new facility to their territories, and we at BC Housing congratulate our government partners for developing a world-class example of innovative mental health and development care. substance addiction.

Phil, Former Client, BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services

“For many people with mental health and addiction issues, the Red Fish Healing Center will be their inspiration on a new and successful journey of recovery. As a former client of BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, I know how important it is to have the ability to change addictive habits and to properly manage emotional, psychological and spiritual struggles. I am now able to wake up each day and feel alive, satisfied and hopeful about the direction of my life. I am deeply indebted to all the healthcare professionals and other staff who have helped me recover, and to my peers. As the doors to the Red Fish Healing Center open, I know it will bring the possibility of purpose, meaning, connection and hope for people across British Columbia. .

Fast facts:

  • In a year, one in five Canadians will be dealing with a mental health or addiction problem.
  • Research shows that more than half of people with a substance use disorder will experience a mental health problem.
  • The economic cost of mental illness to the Canadian health care and social support system was estimated at $ 79.9 billion for 2021.
  • Mental illness affects people of all ages, education levels, income levels and cultures. However, systemic inequalities, such as racism, poverty, homelessness, discrimination, colonial and gender-based violence, among others, can worsen mental health and symptoms of mental illness.
  • The province has invested $ 130 million to fund the capital cost of the Red Fish Healing Center.

Learn more:

For more information on the Red Fish Healing Center, visit: rvices / provincial-integrated-mental-health-addiction-programs / red-fish-healing-center

To learn more about the integrated provincial mental health and addiction programs, visit:



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