The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance (CKHA) celebrated the opening of its Withdrawal Management Service at the Chatham Site with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, August 5, 2022.
The permanent 10-bed unit will officially begin accepting patients on August 8, 2022.
“Today marks a milestone for CKHA and our community with the official opening of our Withdrawal Management Service,” said Lori Marshall, President and CEO, in a media release.
“We are so pleased to offer evidence-based addiction care and recovery for clients and their families in a modern and safe environment.”
Withdrawal management helps individuals who struggle with substance use, including drugs, alcohol, and/or prescription medications, hospital officials say.
It is an evidence based, recovery-oriented, harm reduction approach to drug and alcohol addiction.
CKHA’s Withdrawal Management Service will provide a supportive environment to enable safe withdrawal from substances and initiation of follow-up addictions treatment.
“The harm reduction and recovery-oriented approach offered through CKHA’s Withdrawal Management Service will ensure a safe, supportive environment for individuals requiring these specialized services,” said Alan Wildeman, Board Chair, CKHA, in a media release.
“The addition of this service to CKHA offers care close to home and eliminates the burden of travel for clients and their families.”
The 10-bed facility will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week at CKHA’s Chatham Site in the former outpatient mental health services building, CKHA’s Rapid Access to Addiction Medicine (RAAM) Clinic has also relocated next to the 10-bed unit, offering co-location of both services and ease of access for clients and their families.
The RAAM Clinic will officially open in its permanent location on August 8, 2022.
“Many of our clients are motivated to make a change and have taken one of the most difficult steps of reaching out for help,” said Stephanie DeVito, Clinical Supervisor, Outpatient Mental Health and Addictions Programs, CKHA, in a media release.
“Barriers such as travel to receive care in another community can be very disheartening to experience. Since the announcement of CKHA’s Withdrawal Management Service, it’s been amazing to see the excitement and hope from our clients and their families when they hear that this service is coming to our community.”
Dr. Dele Oyebode, Chief of Psychiatry and Program Medical Director of Mental Health and Addictions Program, CKHA, added: “With the official opening of a permanent 10-bed Withdrawal Management Service at CKHA, individuals struggling with addiction will be able to receive the best and most appropriate care. Offering this service will also reduce the pressure we are experiencing on our acute mental health inpatient program.”
The cost of renovations for the project totals $1.2-million; successful completion of the project required partnership and support from many stakeholders, hospital officials added.
In addition to the $100,000 received from the Ministry of Health for start-up for furnishings and equipment, the municipality of Chatham-Kent supported CKHA’s Withdrawal Management Service through a one-time contribution of $500,000; Chatham-Kent Health Alliance Foundation committed $450,000 towards the completion of renovations – this contribution was inclusive of a $150,000 donation from the United Way of Chatham-Kent; and the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton Kent donated $150,000 towards the project.
“The ongoing mental health and addiction crisis in our community has touched so many lives,” said Mary Lou Crowley, President and CEO, CKHA Foundation, in a media release.
“As the link between the community and its local hospital sites, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community in supporting this important new mental health service right here in Chatham-Kent.”
While the 10-bed facility underwent construction, a temporary 3-bed unit began operation within the hospital to offer this service to the community immediately.