Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) offers mental health and substance use (MHSU) services in all our locations across the organization.
Through our multidisciplinary care teams and partnerships with external agencies, we provide diagnosis, treatment, individual and group therapy, rehabilitation, consultation and emergency and urgent services. Special programs include art therapy, early psychosis intervention, mood disorders, concurrent disorders and peer support.
Opportunities for mental health professionals can be found across the spectrum of care including:
Community mental health teams
Crisis intervention and stabilization programs
Tertiary mental health and substance use services
Why join Vancouver Coastal Health?
Comprehensive health benefits.
Grow your career with employer supported development opportunities.
Full range of lifestyle and career opportunities, in diverse health care settings.
Award-winning staff recognition programs
Supportive, world-class team who delivers exceptional care to all.
Competitive salaries and strong premiums and allowances.
We offer programs across all communities, including:
ABI Transitional Housing Program
This regional 24/7 program offers transitional housing with a client-centered care and rehabilitation following a new onset acquired brain injury (ABI). Our mission is to maximize clients’ connection to the community, enable participation, foster healing, and support greater housing security. By prioritizing the ‘right care, at the right time, in the right place’, our interdisciplinary team promotes client-driven goals and supports clients impacted by the toxic drug supply crisis.
The Access and Assessment Centre (AAC) serves as a single point of access for all Vancouver adults in need of urgent assessments and mental health and addictions – the first of its kind in the province. Operating daily, the AAC provides more easily accessible care, while eliminating the need for clients to navigate a complicated system or default to the Emergency Department (ED). Our aim is to reduce 70% of unnecessary ED visits, a reduction of 4,000 visits per year.
Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) is a recovery-oriented mental health service delivery model that uses a psychosocial rehabilitation approach and has received substantial empirical support for facilitating community living, psychosocial rehabilitative services, and recovery for persons who are living with the most serious mental illnesses, have severe symptoms and impairments and have not benefited from traditional outpatient programs.
The Carlile Centre is B.C.'s first-ever dedicated Youth Concurrent Disorders Unit offering regional tertiary care in a 10-bed inpatient unit for the most seriously affected youth age 13 to 18. A warm, welcoming, home-like environment includes private bedrooms, plenty of natural light and spaces for youth to reflect, exercise or socialize. Staff at the Carlile Centre support youth as they develop and transition into adulthood.
Early intervention in Psychosis is key to preventing or improving the long course trajectory of individuals who struggle with psychosis. The Early Psychosis Intervention (EPI) Program offers treatment for early and first-episode psychosis, for youth and young adults between the ages of 13 to 30. The program offers specialized and integrated treatment approaches.
Kitsilano Mental Health meets the health needs of adults 19 years of age and older with moderate to severe mental health (MH), substance use (SU), and concurrent MHSU disorders or conditions. Clients at Kits may be ready for services, interested in exploring services, or reluctant to engage with team services. As readiness is dynamic, the team is available to support all levels of interest and readiness. Some of our clients may be required to attend services under the BC Mental Health Act conditions of extended leave.
The newly developed Psychiatric Emergency Assessment and Treatment (PEAT) Zone within Lions Gate Hospital will provide trauma-informed, recovery-oriented care with a harm reduction lens. It will provide timely access to specialized emergency MHSU services to eight individuals in a safe, designated area.
SALUS House is a new inpatient psychiatry program that will be located at UBC Hospital 1 East in the Detwiller Pavilion. It will be a 15-bed unit that will support patients ages 17 and older from across the region. SALUS House will manage the sub-acute patient population, with an expected stay of four weeks. Services would include short-term assessment, crisis counseling, medication adjustments, and stabilization.
Step-Up/Step-Down (SUSD) is a mobile, outreach program that acts as a bridge between acute and community services and optimizes treatment access for children and youth under 19 with serious mental health and/or substance use conditions who require intensive services. The term “step-up” refers to providing treatment options at a higher intensity than regular community services as an alternative to hospitalization. The term “step-down” refers to providing intensive treatment for children and youth transitioning out of hospital care before returning to community services.
Vancouver’s Inner-City is home to nearly 18,000 residents, many with complex health and social challenges. The community dynamics and health needs have changed over the past ten years and VCH is developing a more integrated health system that will coordinate services around client needs. This includes working closely with community service providers to ensure the provision of client-centred, evidence-based and cost-effective care within a cohesive network of community-based health services.
Harbourlight Detox offers adult withdrawal management services, also known as detox. It provides a safe and supporting bed-based program for people who require supervised withdrawal or initiation and titration of opioid agonist treatments (OAT). Harbourlight Detox is operated by the Salvation Army, with VCH nurses and physicians embedded in the team. In addition to medical staff, the team includes a social worker, health care workers, acupuncturists, peers and volunteers.
The Substance–Use Treatment and Response Team (START) provides first-line treatment options to individuals requiring help to withdraw from, or stabilize, their substance use and who can do so safely, with support, in the community. START offers a safe withdrawal from alcohol and other substances and initiation and titration of opioid agonist treatments.
Bed-Based Substance Use and Withdrawal Management Services
VCH offers bed-based and withdrawal management services (WDM) through various programs, including ACCESS Services, Vancouver Detox Centre, Harbourlight Detox, the Substance Use Treatment and Response Team, and the Stabilization Program.