Victoria/Agassiz – To support the healing journeys of First Nations individuals, families and communities, $40 million is being provided to build and revitalize First Nations-run treatment centres throughout British Columbia.

This includes Telmexw Awtexw Treatment Centre in Agassiz.

The funding, provided equally by First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and the Province, was announced by Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chair of the First Nations Health Council (FNHC), and Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, at the First Nations Primary Care, Mental Health and Wellness Summit in Vancouver.

“This treatment centre upgrade allows us to upgrade our facilities and upgrade our service delivery in the midst of one of the most urgent public health epidemics in recent memory,” said Grand Chief Doug Kelly. “The extra beds will create hope, save lives and give people help on their healing journey. We must combine traditional healing with the best of western medicine.”

The Province and FNHA are contributing $20 million each to build two new urban treatment centres and repair and renovate others. These centres support access for First Nations people to mental health, wellness and substance use services.

First Nations-led treatment services have Elders and traditional healers directly involved in patient care alongside doctors, nurses and addictions specialists. The new and updated centres will feature increased and much-needed programs for women and two-spirited people.

“I have heard from First Nations across B.C. about the urgent need for culturally safe treatment centres in urban and rural communities to support people on their healing journeys,” said Darcy. “Our partnership with the First Nations Health Authority is about ensuring that First Nations are in the driver’s seat with the resources to support mental health and wellness.”

This funding commitment is in addition to $30 million announced by the Government of Canada, the Province of B.C and the FNHC in May 2018 to support Nation-based approaches to the planning, design and delivery of mental health and wellness services

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