New Brunswick

Restigouche Hospital Centre psychiatric centre opens

Residents in the Campbellton area have a new treatment facility for patients with mental health issues or those being sent by the courts for a mental health assessment.

Services like a hair salon, a dentist, chapel, woodworking shop and even a small clothing store are offered

The psychiatric hospital is connected by a pedway to the main hospital in Campbellton. (www.exp.com)

Residents in the Campbellton area have a new treatment facility for patients with mental health issues or those being sent by the courts for a mental health assessment.

Vitalité Health Network has taken the wraps off the Restigouche Hospital Centre, a 140-bed psychiatric hospital that will focus on community integration. Patients of the Restigouche psychiatric hospital will be moving into the new quarters Wednesday.

Hospital officials say the design is meant to ensure the comfort and safety of patients with numerous security cameras placed throughout. Vitalite Health says the new building will not only allow for better care, but will be a drawing card for recruiting and retaining professionals.

Treatment is focused on community life and reintegration. Part of that is a mini-village located within the hospital where services like a hair salon, a dentist, chapel, woodworking shop and even a small clothing store are found.

Suicide proofing

Psychiatric nurse Nathalie Langlois says there are multiple cameras, plus a personal location system for workers with alarms so they can call for help. Many anti-suicide devices have also been installed, making hinges, door knobs and bathrooms safer.

Two private apartments are also on site to prepare patients about to leave hospital. They have budgets to plan and do their own grocery shopping.

As with the old hospital, the facility will have 60 beds in a forensic psychiatry unit for court-ordered assessments and treatment.

Overall, though, the $150 million facility will have 32 fewer beds than the old hospital, but COO Jacques Duclos says that is not an issue.

The new facility replaces what was known as the Provincial Hospital when it opened on June 12, 1954 — 61 years ago, almost to the day.  In 2007, the Department of Health announced that a new hospital would be built in Campbellton.

A tender to tear down the old hospital will be going out this summer.

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