British Columbia’s first-ever urgent care response centre has opened in Surrey.
The Surrey Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care Response Centre will start accepting patients this July.
It’s a central location for those who need urgent mental health and addiction care and will allow care providers to quickly connect people to specialty services. In turn, it will also divert patients from emergency departments to a “more therapeutic environment,” according to the provincial government.
The $5 million project will see operating costs of $8.9 million annually.
“When you or a loved one needs urgent support for a mental health or substance use challenge, the last thing you want to hear is to take a number,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
Care providers at the centre will have a central focus on managing a person’s urgent needs. Patients will work with staff to identify their individual needs and build on coping skills and resilience while creating a treatment plan.
Patients will then be connected to the most appropriate service to provide them with ongoing care and support.
Residents in Delta, Langley, and White Rock will also be able to receive support from the centre during evenings and weekends.
The new centre is meant to be calming and therapeutic through being equipped with a nature-inspired interior and private spaces for patients and their families. Laundry and shower services, as well as light snacks, are also available on-site for patients.
To start, the facility has 84 staff and physicians, including clinical counsellors and social workers, a substance-use services access team, psychiatrists, mental health care workers, nurses, homeless outreach workers, and a pharmacist.
The Surrey Mental Health and Substance Use Urgent Care Response Centre is located on the Charles Barham Pavilion of the Surrey Memorial Hospital Campus.
The centre will see a partial opening on July 24 and operate from Monday to Friday, from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Upon reaching full operation, which is scheduled to take place on August 7, the centre will be fully functional run seven days a week from 7:30 am to 11:30 pm.