After several years of planning and development, the Hope North Recovery Centre for Youth finally opened its doors on June 16.
This new 9,000-square-foot facility is designed to give young people in Thompson and the surrounding area access to crisis services for mental health or addiction issues.
A large number of local dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 70 Princeton Drive, including Mayor Dennis Fenske, MLA Kelly Bindle, and elder Jack Robinson.
Robinson opened and closed the event with a prayer, lamenting the high rate of suicide, drug addiction, and mental health issues that plague young people in Northern Manitoba.
“So many of our young people are dying. So many are taking their own lives, and I hope, creator, that you will give us that healing for our young people,” he said.
In order to combat these ongoing problems, this new $7.7. million facility is outfitted with a four-bed stabilization unit for youth dealing with mental health issues and a two-bed stabilization unit for youth suffering from drug abuse. The building also doubles as a base for the Northern Regional Health Authority’s (NRHA) mobile crisis and outreach services.
During his address to the public at Friday’s grand opening Bindle praised the local community for providing input into the creation of this building, including its layout and design.
“That’s why you have the open concept, you have the natural lighting, and the large windows so that the youth can connect better with the outdoors nearby,” he said.
According to Elizabeth Lychuk, a representative from the NRHA, the government of Manitoba helped lay the groundwork to build this centre almost a decade ago.
“The call was answered in December of 2008 when the government released the provincial Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy,” she said. “That included a plan for a facility to provide crisis services for youth based in Thompson and serving Northern Manitoba.”
The NRHA continued down this path in December 2011 with the launch of a mobile crisis service, which is designed to provide support and consultation to people within a 110-kilometre radius of Thompson.
Lychuk said the opening of the Hope North Recovery Centre for Youth in 2017 is a natural evolution of their ongoing mission to improve mental health services in the north.
“The staff of Hope North will endeavour to do our very best to plant and nourish seeds of hope with the youth and families, the caregivers, and communities for whom we will provide recovery-oriented mental health and addiction services.”
This new facility will be officially opened to the public on June 26.