View the printer-friendly version of this release.
Province of British Columbia
NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
2024MMHA0004-000080
Jan. 25, 2024
Office of the Premier
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Record expansion of treatment options will support more people with addictions
Updated on Feb. 8

VANCOUVER – More people with addiction challenges can now access treatment and recovery options free of charge and closer to home with the addition of 180 publicly funded treatment and recovery beds throughout the province.

“People need to be able to access treatment and recovery services close to where they live, without worrying about how to pay for it,” said Premier David Eby. “This expansion nearly doubles the number of publicly funded treatment and recovery beds that we committed to, so people get the care and treatment they need, no matter how many times it takes.”

Nearly 100 of these beds are open in several communities, and the remainder are expected to launch in summer. The expansion of treatment and recovery services is nearly double the Province’s Budget 2023 commitment to open approximately 100 publicly funded beds throughout B.C. This will significantly improve access to free addiction treatment throughout the province. Services include counselling services, medication management and live-in facilities to support clients throughout their recovery journey.

“When people take the courageous step to reach out for help, they need to be met with the right care at the right time, close to home,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “By expanding access to addiction treatment beds across the province, we are providing more options, closer to home, to the lifesaving care that people need on their recovery journey.”

The Province has nearly doubled the number of beds previously committed to by converting some existing private beds into publicly funded ones, while adding new beds. This means more people can access the help they need quickly without worrying about the cost. The beds, administered by the Canadian Mental Health Association - BC Division (CMHA-BC), are operated by organizations that are licensed, registered or accredited with the Province to ensure quality standards are met. These beds will expand services for under-served populations, such as those in rural and remote areas, Indigenous people, people who are or have been involved with the criminal justice system, and new or pregnant parents.

“Recovery is a journey marked by both triumphs and challenges,” said Richard Thompson, Penticton Recovery Resource Society (Discovery House) alumni. “Yet, every day in recovery, even the most difficult, surpasses the best day lived in active addiction. Discovery House not only saved my life but gave me a life full of purpose and meaning.”

A provincial investment of $73 million over three years is funding these beds, and extends the operations of 105 existing CHMA-administered beds to the end of 2027. Together, the 285 beds provide quality treatment and recovery care and services with no out-of-pocket fees for people struggling with addiction challenges. People can be referred from their health-care professional or other organizations. Self-referrals are also accepted.

These new treatment and recovery beds are part of the Province’s work to expand treatment options for people living with mental-health and substance-use challenges and are an integral part of government’s work to address the toxic-drug crisis in B.C. Through Budget 2023, the Province set out more than $1 billion in new funding over the next three years to ensure that people living with mental-health or addiction challenges can find, access and stay connected to the care they need, including $586 million for treatment and recovery services specifically.

Quotes:

Jonny Morris, CEO, CMHA BC –

“We are so pleased and grateful for the continued opportunity to partner with the Province and community partners to ensure more treatment and recovery beds are available for people wanting to access these services exceeding our target by an additional 80 beds. It is through partnership and collaboration that we can ensure more people can access treatment and recovery care throughout B.C.”  

Brenda Plant, executive director, Turning Point Recovery Society –

“Turning Point Recovery Society has provided addiction recovery services to over 400 individuals through the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions - CMHA grant funding awarded to us in 2021. This latest investment of funding reinforces the Province’s commitment to address the urgent needs of individuals in need of bed-based addiction recovery services. These additional treatment beds will provide individuals with the opportunity to embark on a transformative journey toward a healthier life.”

Sherry Mumford, executive director, BC Addiction Recovery Association (BCARA) –

“These new publicly funded beds will provide quality treatment and recovery care and services at no cost for anyone needing support in the short and long term thereby empowering recovery and restoring hope to individuals, families and communities impacted by addiction.”

Robert Fitzpatrick, director of operations, Miklat Recovery Society –

“Miklat Society is honoured to collaborate with the CMHA and the Province to offer comprehensive, evidence-based treatment programs to our underserved rural communities and surrounding areas. The word ‘Miklat’ symbolizes ‘refuge’, which is what we aim to provide to the most vulnerable; a space to grow, heal and change. Through this support, Miklat Society endeavours to reunite families, reintegrate individuals into the workforce, and foster healing within our communities.”

Quick Facts:

  • From April 1, 2021, until March 31, 2023, 1,002 clients were served through the 105 beds administered by CMHA BC and originally funded through Budget 2021.
  • There are now 3,596 publicly funded adult and youth substance-use treatment beds, including the 97 new CMHA beds that are open and serving clients.  
  • These new beds bring the number of publicly funded substance-use treatment beds implemented since 2017 to a total of 587 with more to come.

Learn More:

To learn more about the ministry’s commitments through Budget 2023, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2023MMHA0013-000251

To learn about mental-health and substance-use supports in B.C., visit: https://helpstartshere.gov.bc.ca/

To learn review the Mental Health and Substance Use Data Snapshot, which provides an overview of the Province’s actions and impact on mental health and substance use care, visit: https://mentalhealthandaddictionscare.gov.bc.ca/  

For a backgrounder on the publicly funded beds now open, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/CMHA_beds_backgrounder_UPDATE.pdf

 
Contacts:
 
Jimmy Smith
Deputy Communications Director
Office of the Premier
jimmy.smith@gov.bc.ca
 
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Media Relations
778 584-1255
 
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect