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About Mental Health & Substance Use Program

The Mental Health and Substance Use Program provides a wide range of programs and services to assist persons experiencing difficulties with mental health or substance use. Our programs deliver high quality services in the North, aimed to restore, promote, and maintain well-being. Programs are generally structured to the needs of each person through all stages of life, including youth, adult and the elderly.

Mental Health teams work in partnership with many community service providers to offer wrap around services that are client focused and provide a continuum of care options.

In keeping with BC's Mental Health Reform Best Practices, Northern Health is committed to providing, and continuously improving, a continuum of services for individuals and their families who are living with addictions and mental illness. The ongoing process of integrating services in keeping with 'Every Door is the Right Door' is reflected in the services we provide.

Northern Health Authority provides a wide range of Mental Health and Substance Use services in a variety of community and residential settings. Services vary from short-term assessment and treatment to long-term programs for those with a serious and persistent mental illness and/or substance abuse problems. Programs are designed to help clients achieve independence and improve the quality of their lives.

What Services are Available in Mental Health and Substance Use Programs and Services?

Youth Community Outpatient Service

Available to youth and young adults residing in the Prince George community, the YCOS program provides outreach to youth with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues through assessment, individual and group therapy, case management, life skills training, recreational activities, and family support.

This services operates out of the Prince George Foundry site located at 1147 7th Ave. Foundry offers additional services as well for youth and young adults including screening and support based on stepped model of care, single session walk in counselling, physical and sexual health support from a registered nurse, as well as, physicians and a nurse practitioner, and social services support.

Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI)

Available to individuals residing in the Prince George community, the EPI program provides assessment, treatment, case management, groups, and medication management for individuals experiencing first break psychotic episodes as well as individual, family, and community education.

Eating Disorders Clinic

The EDC program provides assessments, consultation, and treatment, as well as individual and family education and support for children, youth and adults with eating disorders, specifically anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

Services are also offered on case by case basis for those diagnosed with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder and Craving Change group sessions are offered throughout the year for individuals struggling with Binge Eating Disorders.

The program offers in person support to clients living in Prince George, as well as regionally supports clients with assessment via telehealth and supports the development of multi-disciplinary care team for individuals in their home community.

The program also serves as the gateway for the north to access tertiary specialized programs such as inpatient units at St Paul’s and BC Children’s Hospitals and the Looking Glass Residence.

Community Response Unit (CRU)

CRU acts as an entry point for Mental Health and Addiction programs, agencies and supports by facilitating referral and access to services. CRU provides brief assessments, short term supportive counselling and crisis intervention, in a variety of environments to meet the needs of the clients.

Community Acute Stabilization Team (CAST)

CAST provides integrated Mental Health and Addiction services to adults 19 years of age and older presenting with a variety of Mental Health and Addiction diagnoses.

These include Mood Disorders, Personality Disorders, Concurrent Substance Related Disorders, Bi-Polar Disorders, Grief, Adjustment Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Post-Partum Depression.

Services are provided to individuals who exhibit psychiatric symptoms of sufficient severity to bring about significant impairment in their ability to function day to day.

Community Outreach and Assertive Services Team (COAST)

Comprehensive treatment for adults based on a Psycho-Social Rehabilitation model with a Mental Health or Addiction diagnoses: Psychosis; Schizophrenia; Schizoaffective disorder; Bipolar I and II; Co-occurring Substance Related disorders; Developmental Disabilities above 70.

Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)

Services are targeted to complex clients in the greatest need of ACT services. Admission criteria are based on the Program Standards for Assertive Community Treatment teams in British Columbia (March, 2008).

The service delivery model is client centred, recovery-oriented and provided by a group of interprofessional mental health staff with a typical client to staff ratio of 10:1. The team is mobile, delivers outreach services in community locations and operates 7 days a week, 12 hours per day.

Developmental Disabilities Mental Health (DDMH)

The DDMH program provides assessment, consultation, and short term treatment services to individuals 14 and older who meet the diagnostic criteria for a developmental disability (IQ of 70 or below) and who have a mental illness and/or challenging behaviours.

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

The ABI program provides assessment, consultation, case management, life skills service, individual and family support, and education for adults with an acquired brain injury.

Elderly Services

Elderly Services provides assessment and consultative services for adults 65 and over with a new onset mental health issue or whose mental health issues is complicated by diseases of aging or who is experiencing dementia of any age.

Community Mental Health & Addiction (Generalist Teams)

In communities outside of Prince George, the Mental Health and Addiction community programs offer services that include a combination of CRU, CAST and COAST functions with Interprofessional teams, as well as some specialty services, i.e. Developmental Disabilities Mental Health (DDMH), Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), etc.

Youth addictions counselling and referral, elderly services counselling, early psychosis, eating disorders, vocational and recreation rehabilitation is also available at most community Mental Health and Addiction programs.

Adult Addictions Day Treatment Program (AADTP)

The Adult Addiction Day Treatment program provides a client centered approach to wellness. The program focuses on assisting individuals to achieve greater responsibility for their individual recovery, provides access to resources for on-going support and uses the harm reduction model to promote quality health and well-being.

Methadone Program

This program provides methadone treatment services to individuals with drug dependency and offers individual counselling, education, support, and methadone treatment interdisciplinary case management.

Inpatient Services

Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment Unit (APAU)

The adolescent psychiatric assessment unit is located in Prince George and is a regional centre for adolescent inpatient psychiatric services. The team provides crisis stabilization, comprehensive psychiatric assessment and brief treatment for youth who are experiencing serious psychiatric symptoms such as psychosis, disorder of mood, suicidal behaviour or anxiety states.

Care is provided by an inter-professional team, usually comprised of a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Nurses, Family Liaison Clinician, Youth Counsellors, Regional Youth Liaison Clinician, and School Teachers, as well as other disciplines as needed.

Youth Treatment Centre Mental Health and Addictions

The Nechako Youth Treatment Program (NYTP) provides substance misuse management, detox and treatment, as well as mental health assessments for youth ages 13 - 18. Individual, family, and group support are also provided.

Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Units

Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Units are located in Prince George (University Hospital of Northern British Columbia), Dawson Creek (Dawson Creek and District Hospital), and Terrace (Mills Memorial Hospital) and are designated psychiatric facilities which are able to provide care to people certified under the Provincial Mental Health Act.

The units offer an interprofessional approach to care, and liaise with community services to ensure continuity of care when patients are discharged to the community.

Adult Withdrawal Management Unit (AWMU)

The AWMU program provides substance misuse management for adults through medical detox, integrated case management, family and community care management, education, recreational activities, and individual, family, and group support.


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