The B.C. government is supporting the Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community & Farm to help men on their journey to recovery with funding of $1 million to operate and staff 20 new complex mental health and substance use beds.
“The Ministry of Health is committed to providing the best supports to help people with substance use problems and serious addictions. We consider substance use problems a public health issue, and support a range of approaches, including both harm reduction programs and recovery-based programs like Baldy Hughes,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “When I visited the Baldy Hughes farm earlier this year, I saw first-hand how the program has helped many people who struggle with mental health and addictions onto a better path in their life.”
“We believe in the recovery process,” said Shirley Bond, Prince George-Valemount MLA, who made the announcement on behalf of Health Minister Terry Lake. “Each person who goes through the program at Baldy Hughes has value, and we’re showing our commitment to them personally by providing help so Baldy Hughes can continue their work with those facing the challenge of mental health and substance use concerns.”
The funding will go to opening and operating 20 new beds, including increasing staffing with the addition of three full-time registered nurses and one full-time occupational therapist. These new positions complement the existing services offered at Baldy Hughes, which include support from psychiatric nurses, a psychiatrist, general practitioner, licensed practical nurse and clinical counsellor. Baldy Hughes has already been able to open up the 20 beds, and has filled 13 of them so far.
Recovery services offered at Baldy Hughes occur over a year, including an intensive 12-step group program, animal and horticultural farm programs, vocational training, intensive counselling, occupational therapy, leadership and civic roles, and health and fitness activities. Baldy Hughes offers a total of 65 beds and graduates between two and five men per month.
“Every day men arrive at Baldy Hughes devastated by the effects of long-term addiction and disruptions to mental health,” said Rodger Travale, executive director, BC New Hope Recovery Society, which operates Baldy Hughes. “And every day, I am also awed at their achievements in meeting the challenges of recovery. I’m thankful and proud of our Province for leading recovery, by investing in the structure and services that will allow those struggling with mental health and addictions to achieve their personal best.”
This investment aligns with the provincial government's 10-year mental health and substance use plan, Healthy Minds, Healthy People, which focuses on prevention, early intervention, treatment and sustainability. This announcement helps meet a commitment within the plan to provide more substance use services throughout the province.
As well, the Ministry of Health recently released several policy papers that outline the strategic service priorities for the health sector. These priorities focus on building primary- and community-care supports to better meet the needs of individuals, including those with mental health and substance use challenges.
To find out more about general mental health and substance use supports, visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/
To view the Ministry of Health’s Healthy Minds, Healthy People website and report, visit: www.health.gov.bc.ca/healthy-minds/about.html
To learn more about Recovery Day in B.C., visit: www.recoveryday.ca/
Learn more about Baldy Hughes at: www.baldyhughes.ca