CAMPBELLTON (GNB) – Construction has begun on the new $14.4-million provincial treatment centre for youth with complex needs. A sod-turning was held today in Campbellton.

“Supporting families is one of your government’s priorities, which is why we are committed to doing better for our youth and children with complex needs,” said Labour, Employment and Population Growth Minister Gilles LePage. “This new centre will provide them access to services that they are not able to obtain at the present time.”

LePage spoke on behalf of Health Minister Benoît Bourque.

“More and more young New Brunswickers suffer from different mental health problems that affect their general health and their integration into society,” said Gilles Lanteigne, CEO of Vitalité Health Network. “It is our duty to continue with our culture of excellence by offering them the necessary tools and support to allow them to thrive and to fully contribute to our communities, as mentioned in our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan.”

The 15-bed centre will be housed in a 7,500-square metre (25,000-square foot) facility being built on land near the Campbellton Regional Hospital. The centre will have a residential treatment capacity but its clinical staff will also provide outreach services in communities around the province, ensuring that all possible efforts are made to have young patients remain in their communities.

In May 2015, the provincial government announced the project as an integral component of the network of excellence, which is meant to provide a continuum of support services for children and youth with mental health challenges. The design of the new centre was unveiled in February 2017.

Supporting those with mental health challenges is a pillar of the New Brunswick Family Plan framework. The framework aims to improve the lives of residents by addressing the factors that have the greatest impact upon health and well-being. It focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities.