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New addiction and mental health facility Ravensview offers free info talk

Peninsula News Review - 4/16/2019

New mental health and addiction treatment facility, Homewood Ravensview, is holding an informational event at the Mary Winspear Centre for anyone interested in what they do and what they offer.

An Evening with Ravensview, will see presentations from the facility's three key personnel and will be an opportunity for individuals and family members to learn more.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m on May 1, with the talks lasting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Psychologist and Clinical Director Dr. Michael Berry will begin the evening, talking about mental illness, such as depression and personality disorder, and give advice to family about how to cope and support the individuals concerned.

"It's going to be a friendly and informal talk with lots of time for questions, to discuss and connect with the community," he says. "We'll provide contact information if they want to chat further about our treatment philosophy, our programs, if they need advice or input how to meet the mental health or addiction needs for them or a loved one."

Medical Director Lyn MacBeath will follow Berry, speaking about mental health, and how psychology and psychiatry meet to help patients. She will speak about where people can look for help and what the public should expect of mental health and addiction specialists.

The final presentation will come from General Manager Robert De Clark, who intends to speak about Ravensview's models of treatment, their vision and philosophy. The facility, once known as Dunsmuir Lodge, has been expensively upgraded and furnished. De Clark intends to talk about what they are able to provide, in light of being a purpose-appointed facility.

"The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from different agencies, the general public and health care professionals from Vancouver Island and western Canada," says Berry.

"Everyone here is excited, there is a reasonable amount of trepidation starting from scratch, but the overwhelming feeling is of excitement."

The 75 bed facility will have a staff of 40, increasing to 90, and include psychiatrists, addiction physicians, counsellors, an occupational therapist, recreational therapist and social workers. There will also be staff overseeing art therapy, horticultural therapy and a round-the-clock nursing staff.

However, such a comprehensive facility is expensive, with De Clark previously acknowledging it will be priced "toward the higher end of the market."

Berry says that the expense has been noted. "Our organization and Ravensview are making strong efforts to generate funding options to make treatment as accessible as possible, including funded beds," he says.

Ravensview was named after Homewood sought advice from local First Nations and Berry says they maintain an excellent relationship with the First Nations Health Authority. Through this relationship they are exploring ways to see if they can offer subsidized or funded beds.

Berry says the senior staff at the facility hope to speak about their three core "guiding principles" at the talk – kindness, respect and hope.

"Those are the qualities we want to embody in the care we provide and how we relate to the surrounding community we are so proud to be a part of. It's also the culture we want for our staff, to live hopeful and meaningful lives."

An Evening with Ravensview takes place at the Mary Winspear Centre, May 1, from 7 p.m.

Homewood Ravensview opens May 22. For further information visit ravensview.com.