Mental Health & Addiction Services
Providing mental health and addictions services in the community, including specialized housing and older adult mental health and addiction.
Every community mental health team is unique, with staff (including nurses, occupational therapists, physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, rehabilitation therapists, social workers) and services reflecting the needs of each catchment area population. Consumer advisory groups provide input and feedback to team management and staff.
- Child and Youth Mental Health
We provide support to children and youth with serious mental health difficulties and/or social, emotional or behavioural disturbances in addition to providing supports for families. Services are provided for all stages of change in a client’s life. Youth Addiction/Prevention Services concentrate on:
- Health promotion and prevention programming and support in schools by prevention specialists, plus peer education
- Youth and family addictions/concurrent disorder counselling
- Addiction medical care including opioid replacement therapy (methadone)
- Harm reduction supplies, education and supervised injection, when indicated.
- Adult Mental Health
We provide assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and emergency care to adults of all ages that have a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and behavioural disorders. We also provide all stages of addiction services through our community addiction, specialized addiction and outreach teams.
- Older Adult Mental Health
We provide community-based services for frail and elderly adults who are vulnerable due to a combination of psychiatric, medical and social factors and therefore require the services of an interdisciplinary team. Offices are located at various community sites and VGH, but most clients are seen in their own homes, community sites or in residential care facilities. Mental health teams provide assessment, treatment and consultation for older adults who have a mental illness complicated by other concerns such as dementia, medical conditions and behavioral problems, largely on an outreach basis.
- Mental Health & Addictions Supported Housing
We provide a range of options for people with mental health and/or addiction challenges through by VCH-funded non-profit and private organizations. There are three categories of mental health housing:
- supported housing in group homes/ apartments/hotels
- residential services in homes with 24-hour care
- emergency accommodation in short-term shelter beds
- Aboriginal Wellness Program
We provide treatment for people with mental health and/or addictions challenges through a team that is trauma-informed and has a cultural perspective. Services offered include:
- adult counselling (one-on-one and group sessions)
- youth and family counselling
- outreach support
- cultural activities such as medicine walks and traditional handiwork such as drum-making
- cultural education from elders
- Adult Addiction Services
We provide the following services:
- residential and outpatient withdrawal management
- one-on-one and group counselling
- day treatment including Daytox
- addiction medical care including opioid replacement therapy (methadone)
- harm reduction supplies, education and supervised injection
- a sobering centre for people intoxicated in public places
- prenatal and postnatal care for addicted mothers
- other medical treatment such as IV antibiotic therapy, tailored to people with severe addiction
The community addiction teams are located in every community health area of the city. Several teams also serve in the Downtown Eastside due to the preponderance of addiction and addiction-related issues in this area. Specialized teams are centrally located to serve all of Vancouver.
Examples of Research and Evaluation Priorities
- Stimulant use management (this is an area where urgent research is needed)
- Variations in practice and the impact of not implementing best practice
- Cost effectiveness of new program implementation and client-centered care
- Best practices for elder care with complex physical, mental health and addiction challenges
- Needs assessment and client satisfaction (e.g. smoking cessation)
- Utilization / over utilization of Emergency Department by clients
- Use of community health services instead of primary care physicians.
- Local meta-analysis on perceived need (i.e. new marijuana rules)
- Efficacy of ACT model with significant substance abuse
- Hep C, HIV and blood born infections.
- Contingency rewards in management.
Current and Past Research and Evaluation Projects
- Addressing the Consequences of Violence and Trauma: A Health Intervention for Women in an Indigenous Context
- Developing Health Messages to Enhance Adherence of Refugees to Appropriate Psychotropic Medications Prescribed by Physicians
- Evaluating and Extending the Aboriginal Men's Dudes Club Program: A Sub-Study of the 'Masculinities and Men's Depression and Suicide Network'.
- Fostering Participation in Chosen Occupations Among Individuals with Mental Illness
- Reducing Stigma of Mental Illness Among boys & Men in Asian Communities in Canada
- Suffering in Silence: Understanding the Underutilization of Mental Health Services Among South Asian Women with Depression
- What Helps and Hinders the Treatment of Suicidal Clients Within the therapeutic Relationship
- Canadian Non-Interventional Prospective Cohort Study on the Real Life Assessment of Abilify Maintena in Schizophrenia
- The temporary re-emergence of old injury pain during acute opioid withdrawal.
- Emotion and Self-Injury Study
Questions? We can help. Contact our Community Research Facilitator