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Concerns Over Closure Of Yarrow Mental-Health Home

Yarrow, BC (CKNW/Global) – Residents of a psychiatric home in Yarrow say they are scared and anxious that the facility is set to close.

Registered nurse Patrick Newby says 25 people at Mountainview Home are slated to move next summer to a new facility that he says is nowhere near completion.

That facility is scheduled to house 50 people.

“We used to have a reportable incident, about three a year. And since Fraser Health came in and bombarded us with this announcement, we’ve had five reportable incidents since that time.”

Newby adds the Abbotsford area has fewer overall mental-health care beds than a year ago — at a time, he says, when more are desperately needed.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma says mental health patients’ needs in Abbotsford are changing, and that’s why they’re building a new facility.

She acknowledges change will be tough for residents forced to move, but there will be more options at the new place to meet their needs.

“The composition of these beds is changing, and we are adding supported independent living to this mix of beds that are going to be available in the community, so in fact we are adding ten beds into the community of Abbotsford.”

She says more patients will be able to live independently, with support.

On August 12, Mountain View Home was notified their funding from Fraser Health Authority (FHA) will be terminated and, by Aug. 8, 2016, all residents will have to be relocated. The money used to fund Mountain View will instead be funneled into a new 50-bed mental health facility being built on Marshall Road in Abbotsford.

The closing of Mountain View will be the second mental health facility closed in the Fraser Valley. In June 2012, Sunrise, a 30-bed residential facility was closed and residents were relocated to existing mental health beds in the Fraser Valley, Newby says.

By moving 30 residents from a functioning facility to existing mental health beds, Newby says it “decreases the number of residential beds for individuals suffering with severe and persistent mental illness in Abbotsford.”

On paper, the shift sounds easy, even manageable except for the residents, families and caregivers doing the actual moving.

Newby says since FHA made their announcement there’s been a significant spike in stress and anxiety in the residents; which are the last thing people suffering from schizophrenia need.


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