New Kelowna, B.C. clinic aims to provide faster mental health, addiction treatments

‘The intention here is to pick people up … earlier in their disease or condition trajectory’

The Cedar Sage Health and Wellness Clinic is located in the Interior Health building on Doyle Avenue. (Google Streetview)

The Interior Health Authority hopes a new mental health and addictions clinic will get patients faster help and prevent their conditions from getting worse.

Interior Health opened the Cedar Sage Health and Wellness Clinic on Friday on the second floor of the Community Health and Services Centre on Doyle Avenue.

Greg Cutforth, who works in primary and community care for the health authority, says the clinic aims to fill a gap between the level of care provided by family doctors, and the level provided by specialized mental health and addictions treatment — and fill it quickly.

“The intention here is to pick people up a little bit earlier in their disease or condition trajectory,” Cutforth told Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

“People we’re really trying to target are those people that have a home, have a job, they’re managing quite well … and starting to wobble and having some problems.”

Cutforth says if those people are treated earlier, they could avoid more intensive treatments.

He says the clinic was a collaborative effort between the health authority, family doctors and Indigenous partners, and took years to implement.

He says it has been phased in gradually since last October when it saw its first patients.

The clinic requires a referral from a doctor to use, however. Cutforth says anyone in the Interior who needs to access mental health services but has no doctor can contact the central crisis line at 1-888-353-2273.

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