A groundbreaking ceremony has been held to begin construction of a facility that promises to help young people in eastern Newfoundland with complex mental health problems.

Eastern Contracting Ltd. has been awarded a $10.3 million contract to build the Paradise youth treatment centre near St. John’s.

"Our government is committed to ensuring that youth with mental health and addictions issues are able to access treatment as close to home as possible," said Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan in a government news release.

"The facility in Paradise for youth with complex mental health needs and the facility in Grand Falls-Windsor for youth with addictions will be the first of their kind in Newfoundland and Labrador."

Sullivan was joined by Service NL Minister, and MHA for Topsail, Paul Davis,

"The services offered at this facility will allow youth who are affected by complex mental health issues to remain in the province to get the treatment they need," said Davis.

The contract is for the construction of a single story, 2,065 square metre, 12-bed centre.

The design and layout of the treatment centre includes three separate living quarters, containing four bedrooms with private bathrooms, a kitchen and a lounge area, a school area, a multipurpose room, a physical fitness room and a dedicated space for overnight stays for visiting family.

Previous tenders for the site development included demolition of the former Paradise Elementary School, the abatement and disposal of hazardous materials, and backfilling to level the site with materials suitable for further construction.

Last week, a $10.6 million contract for the construction of the treatment centre in Grand Falls-Windsor for youth with addictions was awarded to Bluebird Investments Ltd.

Budget 2012 allocated $15.5 million for the continued development of the youth treatment centres in Paradise and Grand Falls-Windsor and an adult treatment centre in Harbour Grace.