With 20 years of experience helping people with addictions issues, Cindy Clarke understood there was 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 on 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.”
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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.