Addicts with mental health issues will be offered complex care housing in Nanaimo

Addicts with serious mental health issues in Nanaimo should have access to complex care housing through an initiative that offers services like addiction medicine, social workers and overdose prevention education.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson announced the project in the Vancouver Island community alongside Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog.

Malcolmson said in a statement that the goal was to provide services in existing supportive housing.

The complex care housing approach was launched earlier this year, with services also announced in other areas, including Abbotsford, Kamloops, Bella Coola, Langley, Powell River, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

The Department of Mental Health and Addictions says complex care spaces in Nanaimo would be gradually expanded by 2025, accommodating up to 30 people.

He says people with trauma and brain damage would be among those who would benefit from the initiative as they are often at risk of becoming homeless.

Krog says complex care accommodation is needed in the city, where the unrest on the streets can sometimes feel overwhelming.

« We have real challenges, and this is an important part of the solution, » he said in the statement.

Island Health will provide the services in partnership with BC Housing and local service providers.


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