Young people on Vancouver Island – more specifically in the Comox Valley and Campbell River – will soon have more access to substance use supports, thanks to the opening of new youth treatment beds.

So says Island Health, as it gears up to welcome six new beds to the region. It’s all part of ‘A Pathway to Hope’ – the Province’s commitment announced last summer to double the number of youth substance use beds across B.C.

Five supportive recovery treatment and withdrawal management beds will open next month in the Comox Valley; and in Campbell River, one new supportive recovery treatment bed opened this spring. That increased the number of beds in the community to five.

Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson says it’s vital young people facing mental health and substance use challenges have the supports when and where they need them.

And thanks to these new beds, Island Health board chair Leah Hollins says youth will be able to access the higher level of support they need – closer to home. 

Island Health notes these youth substance use treatment beds are supported by additional programs, including group sessions, life skills, counselling, and harm reduction.

They’ll be accessible by referral for youth living in the Island Health Region. The John Howard Society of North Island will operate the beds in both the Comox Valley and Campbell River, with annual operating costs totalling around $895,000. These funds will come from the Province and Island Health.