Encouraged and hopeful by the BC Minister for Mental Health and Addiction, he hoped to be with the built-in nature component after visiting the first residential youth treatment center in BC.
Travers Chile Week has a 20-bed treatment facility built to serve 13- to 18-year-olds with a previous travel.
After visiting the facility with Chile Week MLA Dan Coulter, Mental Health and Addiction Minister Sheila Malkamson said, “It’s very interesting to see this happen here.” Minister and other members of Premier John Horgan’s Cox were in Chile for a three-day retreat from September 22-24.
He said that how drugs can be treated in a new way has given “hope” to the minister as well as ideas that can be implemented elsewhere in the province.
It was opened last year by Fraser Health, built by BC Housing, and run by the Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS).
The center has been providing team-based clinical care for youth use of problematic substances since last September.
“The work we’re doing with local service providers across the province and the First Nations Health Authority is really focused on land-based healing as a way out of drug addiction,” Malcolmson said. “And the idea of being translated into Chilliwack here gives me hope.”
Enjoying the outdoors is “an important part of our British Columbine experience,” the minister said.
“It’s very encouraging to see the power of the environment and the power of healthcare delivery, to come together to help people who are addicted. This is the first case and I’m very happy to see it,” Malcolmson said. ۔
Traverse residents can stay for up to six months while receiving one-on-one counseling, recreation and life skills training in a highly organized program. The average stay is about two and a half months.
“Travers is one of the first of its kind because it is one of the largest youth facilities with a clinical team but also an outdoor recreational component. So there is outdoor therapy every day.
The site has a sports and recreation area, with lush lawns, lots of greenery, as well as a sports court, walking circle, hemax and a large gazebo along the way. Every part of the infrastructure of the facility like benches, face green.
“There are thousands of plants on the site, not only for aesthetic reasons but also for the tranquility of nature,” he added. “There was a lot of thinking that went into every part of that environment.”
Residents along the way are sent to set fires in recreational areas such as the Chilean Week Community Forest, or along the Pepper River to ward off some of the positive effects of living in nature. Outdoor adventures can sometimes qualify for a physical education class for young people trying to finish high school courses.
With an emphasis on nature-based healing, young people gain insights into their relationship with nature and healing as they work toward personal health goals.
Teenagers apply to the Fraser Health Region for this program, which is tailored to their specific needs.
Fraser Health has been contracted by PCRS, BC to run Travers, an organization with 35 years of experience providing high quality, accredited social services. PCRS Fraser Health is working with a team on mental health and substance use to meet the unique needs of each patient.
The government provided ر 3.7 million to Fraser Health to support youth treatment beds and outpatient treatment facilities at the special treatment center. BC Housing invested 5 million to buy the property and build the site. The Fraser Health Authority will provide ongoing operational funding for the site.
Located at 45456 Yale Road, the site was designed with the ideas and opinions of young people and their families who have struggled with substance abuse. Culturally safe programming for Travers was developed with local leaders, youth and communities, including cultural experiences and teachings.
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