A new drop-in clinic for mental health and addictions has opened in Prince Rupert.
“Northern Health has the highest suicide rate in British Columbia,” said Sharon Scott, a member of the Prince Rupert Mental Health Advisory Committee.
Prince Rupert may not have a walk-in clinic to see a physician, but this new mental health clinic, a community-based intervention, will bridge the gap in mental health care. There have been other steps by Northern Health to improve mental health services. In 2016, two psychiatric liaison nurses were hired at the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. At the time, a team lead at Northern Health Mental Health and Addictions in Prince Rupert said the emergency room was seeing approximately 180 suicidal cases a year.
Appointments or referrals from a doctor are no longer barriers. The clinic operates on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Prince Rupert Health Unit on Third Avenue West. It is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
“It is important to break the silence around mental health and suicide. We need to guide those in need of help to available resources, ” Scott said. “It’s okay not to be okay.”