Sign up for our free weekday bulletin.

Hospital shares community feedback on future addictions hub

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

A new 24-bed Community Addictions Hub in Sarnia should include a non-clinical, home-like environment, offer programming with strong community partnerships and focus on Indigenous healing and culture.

That’s just some of the feedback received after Bluewater Health held a series of focus groups and an online survey seeking input regarding the space design and programming of the future facility.

“Our community has waited a long time for this much-needed service and it was important to us that their voice was included in the development plans,” said Bluewater Health director of mental health & addictions, Donna Morreau.

“We heard a lot of really great ideas and feedback on what people need and want to see – we also heard some great feedback on what was working well within our current model and where there is room for improvement.”

Stakeholder sessions included mental health and addictions services staff, acute withdrawal management clients, Ryan’s House clients, River City Vineyard staff, Aamjinaang First Nation community members and others, along with a digital survey that drew some 200 responses.

“Around space design, a lot of feedback was around creating a non-clinical environment – such as colourful, light, and bright with many windows, access to outside space with nature and gardens, Indigenous artwork and murals, plants, and private spaces and entrances,” the hospital noted in a news release.

“Around programming, we heard a lot of feedback about bringing community partners and resources in to assist with life skills, mentoring, coping strategies, legal aid, family and children support services, employment assistance, housing, etc.

“Access to Indigenous traditional healing services was also a major theme.”

The feedback is being used to develop the architectural plans and future programming, the hospital noted, adding that those plans are anticipated to finalize in the coming months.

The community engagement summary report will be included with the submission of the final architectural plan to the Ministry’s Capital Branch.

The future site of Bluewater Health’s Community Addictions Hub will be located in the currently vacated wing that runs along Russell St. and London Road, adjacent to Bluewater Health’s Russell St. building.

Once built, the Community Addictions Hub will offer a comprehensive suite of services for local residents struggling with addiction, Bluewater Health noted.

“The model will focus on those best-practice approaches that have demonstrated high recovery rates. These services will include withdrawal management, stabilization and transitional services, outpatient addictions, primary care, and clinical space for program, treatment, and consultations with community partners.”

Earlier this year, Bluewater Health was granted $12M towards the Capital Project for a Community Addictions Hub in Sarnia-Lambton.

Construction on the project is anticipated to take two to three years to complete.

[email protected]

More like this