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Northreach Society welcomes additional funding for treatment centres

The Executive Director of Northreach Society is thrilled to see more provincial funding for addiction treatments but believes a shortage of bed space could still be a concern for those seeking help. Jonathan Fortune says the $9.9 million in support of mental health treatment centres is a great start.

“It’s more money going into addictions and mental health, especially around creating more beds,” he adds.

“We know this government is invested in this recovery-oriented care mindset, and with that, needs to be more beds, especially in the north, in our area, because we have so many accessing the service even outside of Grande Prairie.”

However, with the latest available data showing 22 opioid-related deaths in the municipality in the first 10 months of 2020, Fortune says the opioid epidemic in the region is far from over.

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He says those on the front lines are doing everything they can to help those looking for it, however, the problem of space has been an ongoing concern.

“When it comes to clients accessing detox and treatment services, there is definitely a shortage, and that is everywhere across the province…there is a big push for treatment, but there aren’t always the beds available that we need,” he says.

“Especially with COVID, with distancing, things can’t be as close together… there needs to be an expansion of some sort,” he adds.

The province says organizations operating from March 15, 2020, to March 31, 2021, will be eligible to apply for funding.

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