Provincial Centre of Excellence for Youth in Campbellton: Vitalité Health Network reports on progress

Campbellton, Monday, April 15, 2019 – Vitalité Health Network reported on the progress made since 2015 in establishing the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Youth (PCEY) in Campbellton.  “Although the Department of Health has requested a halt to interior construction of the building, the Network wishes to inform the public and stakeholders about the amount of work that has been accomplished over the past four years and that is ongoing,” stated Jacques Duclos, Vice-President of Community Services and Mental Health. 

Network of excellence

According to Carole Gallant, Director of Youth Services, it’s important to bear in mind that the PCEY will not operate in a vacuum but indeed as a component of a province-wide service network.  This network includes all mental health and addiction services for youth and their families across the province. The Department of Health, Vitalité Health Network and Horizon Health Network as well as the departments responsible for education, social development, justice and public safety, and First Nations are working together to build this service network (continuum). “We must ensure ease of movement between the various levels of service. It’s important for youth to have access to services at the right time and right intensity and that are tailored to their needs,” Ms. Gallant stated. “The PCEY is fully aligned with this vision of a service network and with community capacity building.” 

Infrastructure planned with care

Construction of the building is near completion and its design reflects all stakeholders’ input. A team of clinicians and an engineer visited similar sites in search of the best ideas from across Canada. Over 25 consultation sessions took place with youth, families, communities, First Nations, and clinicians across the province. The new building has 15 beds for youth with complex needs grouped into three units, along with two apartments for families, a gymnasium, a classroom, a group and family therapy room, and more.

Team of professionals in place

Specialized services for youth with complex needs have already been delivered in a separate section of the Restigouche Hospital Centre (RHC) since 2015. A solid team of professionals has been established and currently consists of over 20 professionals, including community workers, forensic attendants, a social worker, a resource teacher, a nurse and a manager. The team is augmented with medical resources in pedopsychiatry and pediatrics as well as resources in social work, psychology, neuropsychology and occupational therapy. “This team is completely separate from the RHC team,” Ms. Gallant indicated.  “The employees are dynamic, motivated and committed to helping youth recover so they can return to their communities and lead an enriching life. I am certain that the bilingual team we have been able to assemble in Campbellton could not easily be re-created elsewhere in the province,” Ms. Gallant concluded.