Tertiary Mental Health & Substance Use Services

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Need help immediately?

If there is an urgent safety concern, please call 9-1-1 or go to emergency at your nearest hospital.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-784-2433

Call BC Crisis Line: 604-310-6789

Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868

KUU-US Crisis Support Line (BC Wide Indigenous Toll Free Crisis and Support Line): 1-800-588-8717

Mental health tertiary services are specialized services for people with serious and long-lasting mental illnesses. Some people may also have needs related to drugs or alcohol.

Vancouver Coastal Health tertiary mental health and substance use programs are free programs that can help people who do not improve with treatment in acute care, like in hospital, or in community settings, and are for people who are admitted to stay in a health centre under the Mental Health Act.

We provide a safe place to continue the journey to wellness for clients and their families.

What to expect

During your stay in the Assessment and Treatment Unit, an interdisciplinary team will work with you to clarify your diagnosis, help you stabilize your mental and physical health, and create a recovery plan to help you get back to life outside. Assessment and Treatment is a secure unit with an average three to six months stay.

In addition to 1:1 meetings with members of your care team, a variety of groups will be available to you. Community meetings happen once a week and allow people on the unit to discuss concerns and have input into how the unit is run. We value your voice and feedback and ask that you attend these meetings.

The Healthy Living group happens after breakfast three mornings a week. The goal of this group is to help you learn strategies that support your recovery, including managing your time on the unit. Various other therapeutic activities are available on-site to support your recovery. 


    • WP3/WP4 Assessment & Treatment Unit Information

    • Client and Family Handbook: Tertiary Mental Health and Substance Use Services

    • Welcome Guide: Tertiary Mental Health and Addictions at Sumac Place

    • Willow Pavilion 5th Floor (WILLOW 5) Older Adult Assessment & Treatment Unit

      Welcome Handbook for Clients & Families During Your Inpatient Stay

    • Intensive Tertiary Rehabilitation (ITR) Unit Information

    • Willow Rehabilitation (WP2) Unit Information for Clients and Families


These specialized mental health and substance use services are available to individuals who:

  • Are age 19+ with persistent psychiatric disorder.
  • May also have needs related to drugs or alcohol.
  • Have psychiatric symptoms that affect day-to-day living.
  • May show ongoing behaviours that put self or others at risk.
  • Need a full assessment, treatment, stabilization and therapy.
  • Need more intensive program resources.
  • Have not responded to treatment in community or acute hospital care settings; or,
  • Are age 65+ and have severe symptoms of dementia and/or have mental illness complicated by age-related medical frailty.

How to access tertiary services

A person can access our tertiary services with a referral from a health-care practitioner to the VCH Tertiary Mental Health and Substance Use Central Access and Discharge Team.

Find this service near you

  • Adult Tertiary Mental Health Assessment & Treatment Service at VGH

    805 West 12th Avenue, VGH Willow Pavilion Vancouver
  • Mental health clinics

    Tertiary Mental Health and Addictions at Sumac Place

    841 Kiwanis Way Gibsons
  • Long term care homes

    Trout Lake Tertiary Rehabilitation Unit - Lakeview Care Centre

    3490 Porter Street Vancouver