NewsPeace Arch Hospital Emergency Department Opens Mental Health/Substance Use Area

Peace Arch Hospital Emergency Department Opens Mental Health/Substance Use Area

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In a significant development, the newly inaugurated mental health and substance-use treatment area at Peace Arch Hospital, forming a part of the expanded emergency department, is now open to the public.

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix emphasized the importance of this facility for the region, citing the rising need for services in response to the area’s growing population. Dix stated, “The White Rock and South Surrey community is growing rapidly, bringing an increased demand for health-care services. That’s why our government invested in redeveloping a number of areas at Peace Arch Hospital to better support staff and the needs of patients.”

The unveiling ceremony, attended by Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford, took place on Saturday. Halford highlighted the urgency of addressing mental health issues in the community, expressing concern for the worsening situation, particularly among the homeless population. He criticized the delay in prioritizing these crucial services, stating, “People need services, they needed them two years ago when this building was constructed (and) was able to treat people, but the fact that this minister didn’t make it a priority and the fact that he is here today to take a victory lap when (the government) is two years late is absolutely embarrassing.”

The expanded emergency department, operational since January 2022, has already made a significant impact, supporting over 58,000 patients between April 2022 and March 2023, marking a 10 percent increase from the previous year. With 50 new single-patient treatment spaces, the department has doubled its capacity and includes a pediatric-friendly space.

Jennifer Whiteside, B.C. Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, emphasized the importance of providing a dedicated, patient-centered space for individuals grappling with mental health or addiction crises. She stated, “People struggling with a mental health or addiction crisis can be vulnerable and often need a quiet, safe place for treatment. Delivering these services in a dedicated, patient-centred space at Peace Arch Hospital will be critical moving forward for people seeking emergency care in White Rock and South Surrey.”

The Peace Arch Hospital renewal project, with a total cost of $86.6 million, received funding from the province ($49.3 million) and the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation ($37.3 million). This substantial investment reflects the commitment to enhancing healthcare infrastructure and addressing the evolving healthcare needs of the community.

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