New youth addiction safe house announced

$7.3-million safe house will replace smaller Red Deer facility

Design work has begun on a $7.3-million, eight-bed safe house in Red Deer for children with drug and alcohol addictions, says Alberta Health.

Counselling and health services at the new facility will support about 170 Central Albertan children and their families annually.

The new facility will replace a five-bed facility that treats 100 youth each year.

“Vulnerable children and teens struggling with severe addictions need safe places close to home and family to receive treatment,” says Brandy Payne, associate minister of health in a news release.

“We’re committed to providing better access to mental health and addiction services for kids and their families.”

Addictions treatment and counselling is provided to the youth by Alberta Health Services clinical staff. Support programs at the site also include life skills training, behaviour management and relationship building. Counsellors link the children to community services for follow-up care once they are released.

“Getting children and teens on the path to recovery can require a broad spectrum of services and in some cases, it is most appropriate to be delivered in a specialized facility,” says Dwight Hunks, Executive Director, Addictions and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services, Central Zone.

“This expansion of services in Red Deer will provide additional supports for children and teens in Central Alberta.”

A request for proposals for a prime consultant for the facility will be issued by Friday. The successful candidate will design the new facility and plan for the demolition of the current one. The competition will close March 10.

Construction times and completion date will be determined through the tender process.

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