MONCTON (GNB) – The Provincial Youth Treatment Centre will be built on Salisbury Road in Moncton, the provincial government announced today.

The facility, for youth aged 12 to 18, will provide specialized treatment in an environment that is more home-like than a traditional hospital setting.

“Our young people need to receive help in a timely fashion,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “This eight-bed centre is an important piece of our mental health strategy for youth in our province and will greatly assist those who require this level of support.”

Design work will begin in early 2023, with construction expected to be completed by 2026 at a cost of about $29.4 million.

The centre will play a key role in the province’s mental health plan as an addition to the existing continuum of support and services for children and youth.

The centre will be staffed by an interdisciplinary team, who will oversee therapeutic programs.

The new centre will complement the eight-bed Restigouche Youth Unit at the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton. Established in 2018, the Restigouche unit offers specialized psychiatric care in a secure environment. It will continue to focus on forensic services and on supporting youth who require specialized care in a hospital setting.

The Vitalité Health Network operates the Restigouche Youth Unit and will also operate the Provincial Youth Treatment Centre.

“Both the Restigouche unit and the new centre will provide intensive support and services to youth with complex mental health needs but in different therapeutic environments,” said Dr. France Desrosiers, Vitalité president and chief executive officer. “The addition of the centre will also ensure specialized youth mental health services are available in both the north and south of the province.”

The implementation of the centre is a key initiative in the Department of Health’s Inter-Departmental Addiction and Mental Health Action Plan, Priority areas for 2021-2025.

Access to addiction and mental health services is also one of five action areas in the provincial health plan, Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.