New Wellness & Treatment Centre

Grey Bruce Health Services is excited to announce that we are opening a brand new facility dedicated to supporting individuals with addictions and mental health needs. Thanks to funding from the Ministry of Health, the new facility, once fully operational, will have space to serve up to 45 inpatients, as well as outpatient services. The new facility will be located in a former public school in Owen Sound (Bayview School) on 6th A Street East.

This project is the first of its kind in this region, and is unique in Canada. Based on harm reduction and recovery principles, the centre will provide a safe environment for individuals in need of additional support following discharge from hospital/addiction services or who are being referred from a community agency. The patient journey based on the services that will be offered in the new wellness centre is depicted below.

Why are we building this facility now?

Our region has seen a significant increase in opioid-related hospitalizations, and our Emergency Department visits have tripled in the past few years. This new treatment centre will be the largest of its kind in our region and will be able to treat people from across Grey Bruce. Here’s what we are seeing:

  • 70% more people in Grey Bruce are being hospitalized due to opioids (compared to 6 years ago)
  • 3 X the number of opioid-caused visits to our emergency departments
  • 160% surge in demand at our Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic
  • Our Withdrawal Management program is at 100% capacity
  • 80% of our inpatient mental health beds are used by people struggling with substance use
  • 22% of Grey Bruce residents report being regular heavy drinkers with long-term risks

The new wellness centre will help the most vulnerable people get off the street and provide a safe space while they get medical treatment and therapy to get back on their feet. Most of these individuals have co-existing alcohol and drug issues and mental health challenges, compounded by unemployment and homelessness. Hospitals are not the best setting for this type of care, and that’s why we are opening a new, purpose-built wellness and treatment facility.

 How will people be helped?

Built on collaboration

The wellness centre will have collaborative space for community partners, which will allow us to offer a range of services and programs for inpatients and outpatients.

Prioritize safety and support

The centre will provide a safe environment for people who need additional support after discharge from hospital and/or addiction services or who are referred by partners, or simply walk in seeking help. Priority access will be provided to Indigenous and transgendered individuals.

The Impact

For individuals treated at the new wellness centre, benefits include:
  • Fewer people and families experience tragic outcomes
  • Reduced suffering and stigmatization
  • More people engaged in employment, education, and self-care activities
  • Fewer people losing stable housing
For all of us in Grey Bruce, the benefits include:
  • Reduced healthcare costs (much less expensive than hospital beds)
  • Reduced use of hospital emergency services
  • Decreased use of social assistance
  • Reduced involvement in the justice system
  • Creates a “centre of excellence” program that can be replicated elsewhere

What services will the new centre offer?

For individuals treated at the new wellness centre, benefits include:
24/7 Addiction treatment services
  • Medical detox
  • Relapse prevention and treatment
Longer-term stays
  • Transitional supportive living; people stay for various lengths of time according to their individualized treatment/support plans
Once the centre is fully operational, therapeutic services will include:
  • Gym
  • Multi-faith Healing Space
  • Designated Indigenous beds
  • Designated Transgender beds
  • Kitchen and dining room (also a space for life and employment skills training)
  • Computer Training Centre
  • Office space to meet and serve drop-in clients
  • Vocational and teaching space
  • Greenhouse

Community Engagement

GBHS is embarking on community engagement as we develop our new Wellness & Treatment Centre. This plan involves multiple opportunities to engage, access information, and provide feedback.

During phase 1 of community engagement, GBHS Administration is currently meeting with residents in the immediate vicinity to discuss plans and answer questions. Input and feedback from these discussions will be incorporated into phases 2 and 3 of the Engagement Plan.

For phase 2, GBHS will be hosting a drop-in session where residents from the broader neighbourhood are invited to meet with GBHS team members, find out the most current updates and address any questions they may have regarding the new Wellness & Treatment Centre. This session will be scheduled in November 2022.

In phase 3 a community information session will be scheduled to share updated plans from phases 1 and 2, and to answer questions. This session will be open to all members of the community. Meeting details will be made available closer to the session date. A virtual session option will also be available.

An outline of engagement opportunities is available below. The most current information will be posted on our webpage.

Wellness & Treatment Centre Frequently Asked Questions

When will this new wellness centre open?
Who will staff the new centre?

The staff at our current Withdrawl Management Services program, including those in our Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine clinic on 9th Street in Owen Sound will move to the new centre once it opens. In addition to this staff, we are aiming to recruit 35 more individuals to fill various positions. This is a unique model of care, and because it is new, we are optimistic that we can attract staff who want to join us at the beginning of this journey, and help us develop the programs and services.

Are people going to be living in this facility?
How will people access the services? Is it referral only?