PEI

New mental health and addictions research centre to be part of revamped Hillsborough Hospital site

Health P.E.I. is working to launch a mental health and addictions research centre that will be located at the new mental health campus on the grounds of Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown.

Research network began in summer last year

This illustration is a conceptual design of the new mental health and addictions campus at the Hillsborough Hospital site. The site will include a research centre that has already begun its work. (Fathom Studios)

Health P.E.I. is working to launch a mental health and addictions research centre that will be located at the new mental health campus on the grounds of Hillsborough Hospital in Charlottetown.

Dr. Amanda Hudson, who will lead the centre, told CBC News: Compass the project will strive to improve patient care, aligning treatments with the most recent and high quality research.

"I think the ultimate goal is to support progressive and best-practice care for patients who are getting help for mental health and substance use issues," she said.

"And we do that by rapidly applying knowledge gained from evidence, gained from clinical guidelines, knowledge from other jurisdictions."

Researchers, clinicians and other collaborators across the Island, as well as some from elsewhere in Canada, are already working together and have been since last summer, she said.

Dr. Amanda Hudson, pictured in 2019, says people with lived experience will play an important role in the research centre's work. (Research Gate)

Hudson said the research centre will have three broad priorities:

  • Improve patient care.
  • Promote collaborative learning and higher education.
  • Work collaboratively with people of many different backgrounds regarding treatment, including researchers, decision-makers and "people that have lived experience."

"We can look at all these different lenses and we can achieve a better understanding of mental health and substance use issues and of treatment for people who are seeking help for those issues," she said.

Centre to be part of planned 31-hectare site

Hudson said there is room to make services, including early intervention services, more accessible. 

The new mental health and addictions campus at the Hillsborough Hospital site is to encompass about 31 hectares and feature a cluster of buildings and surrounding green space.

Though Hudson did not give a timeline for the research network's move to a physical space, the long-term development of the site includes plans for up to 10 other buildings, including a mix of residential, office and commercial space.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from CBC News: Compass and Sally Pitt

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