Adult ad­dic­tions fa­cil­ity of­fi­cially opens in Har­bour Grace

The Grace Cen­tre ex­pects to have first clients in­side by end of Fe­bru­ary

The Compass - - NEWS - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON editor@CBN­com­pass.ca

With 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence help­ing peo­ple with ad­dic­tions is­sues, Cindy Clarke un­der­stands there is a clear need for spe­cial­ized fa­cil­i­ties in New­found­land and Labrador.

“This is a very proud day for me,” said the pro­gram­ming man­ager for The Grace Cen­tre, the new mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar adult ad­dic­tions treat­ment fa­cil­ity in Har­bour Grace.

The 18-bed op­er­a­tion re­ceived its of­fi­cial open­ing last Thurs­day, with a large crowd of com­mu­nity mem­bers and East­ern Health staff on hand, plus of­fi­cials from the Town of Har­bour Grace.

Lo­cated in the for­mer St. Paul’s School build­ing, staff at the cen­tre will take a holis­tic ap­proach to treat­ing com­plex al­co­hol and drug ad­dic­tions for peo­ple 18 years of age and older. The of­fi­cial open­ing comes al­most six years af­ter the pro­ject was first an­nounced.

“I can’t wait to have our clients in here to pro­vide this ser­vice that is well needed within the prov­ince,” said Clarke.

Ser­vices pro­vided at the new fa­cil­ity will be more com­pre­hen­sive than what’s of­fered through out­pa­tient ser­vices. By tak­ing in peo­ple deal­ing with ad­dic­tions for a pe­riod of 28 days, staff will treat each pa­tient’s psy­cho­log­i­cal, phys­i­cal, emo­tional and spir­i­tual needs.

“It will be done through in­di­vid­ual, group and fam­ily coun­sel­ing,” said Clarke, not­ing that tech­nol­ogy will help with the lat­ter form of coun­sel­ing.

The end goal for Clarke and oth­ers work­ing at The Grace Cen­tre will be to re­duce the risk of re­lapse and man­age re­cov­ery through a healthy, bal­anced life­style.

Kim Grant, East­ern Health’s re­gional di­rec­tor for men­tal health and ad­dic­tions, knows Har­bour Grace well, hav­ing started her ca­reer in ad­dic­tions work there.

“At the time, we were a staff of two,” she said. “Now to see that we have a full-fledged, in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary men­tal health and ad­dic­tions team that serves peo­ple in the lo­cal area on an out­pa­tient ba­sis and this state of the art ad­dic­tions treat­ment cen­tre that will serve the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion of the prov­ince — it’s so grat­i­fy­ing to see such pos­i­tive growth in our ad­dic­tions ser­vices that will re­spond and ad­dress the needs of in­di­vid­u­als and their fam­i­lies.”

Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie, who is also a med­i­cal doc­tor, said the open­ing of the adult ad­dic­tions cen­tre marks an im­por­tant step for New­found­land and Labrador.

“By in­creas­ing ac­cess to spe­cial­ized ad­dic­tions ser­vices for those res­i­dents in need of more in­ten­sive pro­grams, we’re pro­vid­ing help here in our own prov­ince and ul­ti­mately en­abling our res­i­dents to re­main closer to home and closer to fam­ily.”

The first group of clients will come to The Grace Cen­tre later this month. The fa­cil­ity will com­ple­ment ser­vices pro­vided at other ad­dic­tions treat­ment cen­tres like Hum­ber­wood in Cor­ner Brook.

Health Min­is­ter John Hag­gie chats with a few com­mu­nity lead­ers at the open­ing of The Grace Cen­tre in Har­bour Grace. Pic­tured, from the left, is Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes, coun­cil­lors Tony McCarthy and Pat Haire, Hag­gie, Coun. Gor­don Stone and Trin­ity Con­cep­tion RCMP Sgt. Howard Gale.

PHO­TOS BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

Grace Cen­tre recre­ational ther­apy spe­cial­ist Tara Power, left, and pro­gram­ming man­ager Cindy Clarke show off the room at the new fa­cil­ity where clients will be able to work with plants or paint as part of their re­cov­ery process.

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