Executive Council
Health and Community Services
Transportation and Works
March 29, 2018

Premier Ball Announces Plan for New Adult Mental Health and Addictions Facility and Expanded Community-Based Services

Supported by $6.1 million in Budget 2018 - Building for Our Future, the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced that a new 94-bed, state-of-the-art mental health and addictions facility will be built in St. John’s. The new facility will be built on the Health Sciences Centre campus and will be connected to the existing hospital with site work expected to begin in summer 2019. A new parking garage will also be built on the site to add extra parking capacity.

EY will be engaged to complete a Value-for-Money assessment to identify a recommended procurement method for the new facility. The Value-for-Money assessment will be completed by the end of April 2018. This will be followed by a Request for Qualifications and a Request for Proposals later this year on construction of the new facility. Services currently delivered at the Waterford Hospital will remain in place until the new facility opens. The transition period will be as smooth as possible with no interruption to the services and supports that are currently available and being used by those in need.

In addition to the new facility in St. John’s, a six-bed mental health unit will be established in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. Two new permanent psychiatrists will be recruited for that region.

A series of community-based services will also be expanded to communities throughout the province. These services will include assertive community treatment (ACT) and flexible ACT teams, community crisis beds, 24/7 supervised living arrangements, and mobile crisis response teams. A Request for Proposals for the community crisis beds will be issued in April 2018 to engage a consultant to complete a needs assessment for each region of the province.

In The Way Forward: A Vision for Sustainability and Growth in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Government committed to transform the way mental health and addictions services are delivered. The province continues to support this vision through the implementation of Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Today is a landmark day for Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a day that reflects our unwavering commitment to support the changing face of mental health and addictions services in communities throughout the province. This announcement marks our new approach to supporting those with mental health and addictions challenges. We are leaving behind the Victorian institutional model of psychiatric care symbolized by the Waterford Hospital.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

“In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a form of mental illness. Close to 50 per cent of us will experience a mental illness at some point in our lives. According to the Canadian Medical Association, two in three people suffer in silence fearing judgement and rejection. These numbers are scary. These numbers are very real. And they tell me that change is needed. We must continue to shine a light on mental health and addictions. And, today right here at home in Newfoundland and Labrador, we are making ongoing progress towards change.”
Honourable John Haggie
Minister of Health and Community Services

“As we outlined in our recently updated five-year infrastructure plan, it is important that government balances our fiscal responsibility with the need to address key infrastructure priorities. We’re delighted that the upcoming Value-for-Money assessment will help us determine our next steps to deliver this facility in a way that is both cost effective and responsible to all tax payers.”
Honourable Steve Crocker
Minister of Transportation and Works

“Eastern Health welcomes the commitment of the Provincial Government for a new mental health and addictions facility to meet the diverse mental health needs of the people of this province. We look forward to collaborating with government, our employees, clients and the public to move this plan forward. The new facility will offer a more modern and recovery-oriented environment and is an important step forward in providing high quality person-centred mental health care.”
David Diamond
President and CEO, Eastern Health

“When the Provincial Government launched The Recovery Approach: First Steps in Transforming Mental Health and Addictions in Newfoundland and Labrador, I could not imagine that such a remarkable transformation would occur in five short years. This announcement has helped move cautious optimism to a place of hope and anticipation. This is a positive move forward which highlights our Provincial Government’s belief in ‘health is health’ and that we cannot separate mental health from physical health. We look forward to the continued engagement of individuals living with mental health and addictions issues and their supports, as we work together to ensure a recovery focused system for all.”
Paula Corcoran-Jacobs
Executive Director, CHANNAL and a person with lived experience

"By locating specialty mental health care alongside other parts of specialty health care, Newfoundland and Labrador is leading the way in mental health and addiction care. It is breaking the mould and transforming mental health care into a more recovery oriented approach. This will bring hope, dignity and inclusion to the residents of the province, and show the rest of the country a way forward."
Louise Bradley
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada

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Learn more
Towards Recovery: The Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/mentalhealth/pdf/mentalhealth_addictions_plan.pdf PDF

Report Card: The First Six Months - www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/publications/pdf/Progress_Update_Mental_Health_Way_Forward.pdf PDF

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @HCS_GovNL

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier

Debbie Marnell
Health and Community Services
709-729-6986, 699-9048

Rod Drover
Transportation and Works
709-729-1758, 730-4607

Tracey Boland
Eastern Health
709- 777-1412, 730-7759

Paula Corcoran-Jacobs
709- 725-5532

Hélène Côté
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3755, 857-0840

2018 03 29                             12:15 p.m.