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NEWS RELEASE · 19th July 2010
Ministry of Health Services
Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon today announced one-time funding of $500,000 to provide addiction recovery and treatment support to patients at the Baldy Hughes Addiction Treatment Centre and Therapeutic Community.

"We are impressed with the success of the Baldy Hughes Addiction Treatment Centre for their ongoing treatment of those with mental health and substance use problems," said Falcon. "The $500,000 will allow for significant renovations to existing buildings so that patients will continue to receive the best care possible as they manage their addiction."

The Baldy Hughes Centre provides some of the province's most vulnerable people with an innovative, long-term opportunity to deal with addiction issues, including alcohol, gambling and drug addiction as well as chronic homelessness.

Baldy Hughes currently has approximately 80 to 85 beds available to provide treatment for people with addiction and homelessness issues. In the last 18 months, it has treated more than 225 patients from across British Columbia.

"Baldy Hughes is giving people a chance to beat their addictions and gain the education and employment skills they need to lead healthier lives," said Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond. "I have seen firsthand the powerful impact this program can have on lives, and this additional funding will enhance and expand options for current and future residents."

The program tailors participants' treatment based on individual need by combining traditional therapy alongside academic education and employment skills development. Participants may complete their full Grade 12 dogwood diploma. The Baldy Hughes program works with participants' families to rebuild and strengthen family support, improving participant's chances of success upon reintegration.

"The funding from the Province of B.C. will be put to good use to renovate an existing building, which houses 35 people struggling with addiction," said Marshall Smith, Baldy Hughes executive director. "The centre will also use a portion of the funding to renovate our aging kitchen to provide not only balanced nutrition but a culinary learning centre for residents who wish to pursue a career in this field."

Baldy Hughes also employs green, environmentally sustainable technology and is on track to become the first community in Canada to be completely energy self-sufficient.

"For 20 years I struggled with addiction," said former Baldy Hughes resident Dale Restler. "Spending one year in Baldy Hughes' remote setting allowed me to disconnect from my destructive lifestyle and provided me with the tools I needed to fight my addiction. I am proud to say that I am now clean and sober and back in the workforce."

Spending on the mental health and addictions sector in 2009-10 was approximately $1.26 billion - an increase of nearly 48 per cent since 2000-2001. The Province has also committed $138 million of capital funding to build or renovate mental health facilities in communities around British Columbia as part of the Riverview Redevelopment Project.