Fraser Health partners with BC Housing to launch a new Intensive Case Management (ICM) team in Langley to support people with severe substance disorders.
SURREY – Fraser Health partners with BC Housing to launch a new Intensive Case Management (ICM) team in Langley to support people with severe substance disorders. The team assists people who may be facing significant challenges related to health, mental health, housing, education and poverty, by connecting them to treatment and support services such as helping them find a place to live and secure employment.
“We know how important it is for people struggling with severe addiction to have supports in place that address not only their addiction, but also the specific factors that contribute, such as unemployment and homelessness,” said Judy Darcy Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “The Intensive Case Management team is a really good example of the holistic approach to care we believe is needed to support people on their road to recovery.”
The team-based approach includes a nurse practitioner, an addictions specialist, a psychiatrist, and peer support and housing outreach workers who work with vulnerable people struggling with substance use.
"The goal of this team, including our care providers and community partners, is supporting people to recover and integrate back into the community,” said Fraser Health Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Victoria Lee. “We’ve seen the success of this through other ICM teams where clients have been connected to housing and appropriate health care practitioners for on-going continuing care and integrated into the community by obtaining personal identification, opening bank accounts, managing money and registering with the food bank.”
The team provides comprehensive assessment, treatment, rehabilitation and uses an approach where an individual is not required to discontinue using drugs before accessing services. Activities of the ICM team will include:
- Substance use counselling and/or access to treatment
- Housing brokerage and support
- Daily Living skills supports and skill building
- Connections to primary, dental, and specialist care
- Grocery shopping
- Accessing vocational rehabilitation support
- Connections to community resources
- Transportation to appointments
- Supporting and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices, personal hygiene, short and long-term goal setting, and money management.
“We have many community partners coming together to support people in Langley who use substances and may have mental health challenges as well. This partnership is a positive step to help people in our community recover and integrate back into the community with stable housing and jobs so they can live a rewarding life,” said Jack Froese, Mayor of the Township of Langley.
“Having an ICM team in Langley is truly beneficial as it supports our most vulnerable population to receive the care they need and become active citizens in the community,” said Ted Schaffer, Mayor of the City of Langley.
Fraser Health has contracted Langley Community Services to provide the service who will work closely with Stepping Stones Services Society, Salvation Army – The Gateway of Hope, and Encompass Support Services Society. In addition, Fraser Health has partnered with BC Housing and our ICM team will work closely with them, following a ‘Housing First’ philosophy that supports people who are homeless to obtain and maintain housing.
BC Housing has purchased the Quality Inn in Langley and has a submitted a rezoning application to the Township of Langley. The plan is to convert the hotel into supportive housing for people who are transitioning out of homelessness and who need additional supports. ICM teams will provide the residents with access to treatment and connect them to longer-term housing as appropriate.
The ICM team is part of Fraser Health’s multi-faceted strategy to address the overdose emergency in the region, which also includes prevention, early intervention, harm reduction and treatment. This strategy supports the work of the new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions established in 2017. As part of the wide range of actions taken, partners across the health system continue to expand access to life-saving naloxone and opioid addiction medications and treatments such as Suboxone, open more overdose prevention sites, work with Health Canada on approvals to open additional supervised consumption sites and improve the system of substance use services.
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