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About Mental Health & Addiction Services

Mental Health and Addiction Services provides a wide range of programs and services to assist persons experiencing difficulties with mental health or substance use. Our programs deliver high quality services in the North, aimed to restore, promote, and maintain well-being. Programs are generally structured to the needs of each person through all stages of life, including youth, adult and the elderly.

Mental Health and Addiction teams work in partnership with many community service providers to offer wrap around services that are client focused and provide a continuum of care options.

In keeping with BC's Mental Health Reform Best Practices, Northern Health is committed to providing, and continuously improving, a continuum of services for individuals and their families who are living with addictions and mental illness. The ongoing process of integrating services in keeping with 'Every Door is the Right Door' is reflected in the services we provide.

Northern Health Authority provides a wide range of Mental Health and Addiction services in a variety of community and residential settings. Services vary from short-term assessment and treatment to long-term programs for those with a serious and persistent mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. Programs are designed to help clients achieve independence and improve the quality of their lives.

What Services are Available in Mental Health & Addiction Programs and Services?

Youth Community Outpatient Service

The program provides outreach to youth with co-occurring mental health issues and addictions through assessment, individual and group therapy, case management, life skills training, recreational activities, and family support.

Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI)

The EPI program provides assessment, treatment, case management, groups, and medication management for individuals experiencing first break psychotic episodes as well as individual, family, and community education.

Eating Disorders Clinic

The EDC program provides assessments, consultation, and treatment, as well as individual and family education and support for children, youth and adults with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa.

Community Response Unit (CRU)

CRU acts as an entry point for Mental Health and Addiction programs, agencies and supports by facilitating referral and access to services. CRU provides brief assessments, short term supportive counselling and crisis intervention, in a variety of environments to meet the needs of the clients.

Community Acute Stabilization Team (CAST)

CAST provides integrated Mental Health and Addiction services to adults 19 years of age and older presenting with a variety of Mental Health and Addiction diagnoses. These include Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Concurrent Substance Related Disorders, Bi-Polar Disorders, Grief, Adjustment Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-Partum Depression. Services are provided to individuals who exhibit psychiatric symptoms of sufficient severity to bring about significant impairment in their ability to function day to day.

Community Outreach and Assertive Services Team (COAST)

Comprehensive treatment for adults based on a Psycho-Social Rehabilitation model with a Mental Health or Addiction diagnoses: Psychosis; Schizophrenia; Schizoaffective disorder; Bipolar I and II; Co-occurring Substance Related disorders; Developmental Disabilities above 70.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)

Services are targeted to complex clients in the greatest need of ACT services.  Admission criteria are based on the Program Standards for Assertive Community Treatment teams in British Columbia (March, 2008). The service delivery model is client centred, recovery-oriented and provided by a group of multidisciplinary mental health staff with a typical client to staff ratio of 10:1. The team is mobile, delivers outreach services in community locations and operates 7 days a week, 12 hours per day.

Developmental Disabilities Mental Health (DDMH)

The DDMH program provides assessment, consultation, and short term treatment services to individuals 14 and older who meet the diagnostic criteria for a developmental disability (IQ of 70 or below) and who have a mental illness and/or challenging behaviours.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

The ABI program provides assessment, consultation, case management, life skills service, individual and family support, and education for adults with an acquired brain injury.

Elderly Services

Elderly Services provides assessment and consultative services for adults 65 and over with a new onset mental health issue or whose mental health issues is complicated by diseases of aging or who is experiencing dementia of any age. 

Community Mental Health & Addiction (Generalist Teams)

In communities outside of Prince George, the Mental Health and Addiction community programs offer services that include a combination of CRU, CAST and COAST functions with multi-disciplinary teams, as well as some specialty services, i.e. Developmental Disabilities Mental Health (DDMH), Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), etc. Youth addictions counselling and referral, elderly services counselling, early psychosis, eating disorders, vocational and recreation rehabilitation is also available at most community Mental Health and Addiction programs.

Adult Addictions Day Treatment Program (AADTP)

The Adult Addiction Day Treatment program provides a client centred approach to wellness. The program focuses on assisting individuals to achieve greater responsibility for their individual recovery, provides access to resources for on-going support and uses the harm reduction model to promote quality health and well-being.

Methadone Program

This program provides methadone treatment services to individuals with drug dependency and offers individual counselling, education, support, and methadone treatment interdisciplinary case management.

Inpatient Services

Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment Unit (APAU)

The adolescent psychiatric assessment unit is located in Prince George and is a regional centre for all adolescent psychiatric services. The team provides crisis stabilization, comprehensive psychiatric assessment and brief treatment for youth who are experiencing serious psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis, disorder of mood, suicidal behaviour or anxiety states. Care is provided by a multi-disciplinary team, usually comprised of a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurses, Family Liaison, Waitlist Clinician, Recreation Therapist and School Teachers, as well as other disciplines as needed.

Youth Treatment Centre Mental Health and Addictions

The Nechako Youth Treatment Program (NYTP) provides substance misuse management, detox and treatment, as well as mental health assessments for youth ages 13 - 18. Individual, family, and group support are also provided.

Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Units

Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Units are located in Prince George (University Hospital of Northern British Columbia), Dawson Creek (Dawson Creek and District Hospital), and Terrace (Mills Memorial Hospital) and are designated psychiatric facilities which are able to provide care to people certified under the Provincial Mental Health Act. The units offer a multi-disciplinary approach to care, and liaise with community services to ensure continuity of care when patients are discharged to the community.

Adult Withdrawal Management Unit (AWMU)

The AWMU program provides substance misuse management for adults through medical detox, integrated case management, family and community care management, education, recreational activities, and individual, family, and group support.

To learn more visit the Other Mental Health & Addiction Support Services


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