Monday, June 24, 2024

Local Addiction Treatment Centre For Adolescents Closes

Letter to the Editor

Editor,

The Seven Bridges Treatment Centre for children with addictions and concurrent mental health issues, at Paisley, Ontario, has been forced to close down.

Following an eight months implementation period the license was granted for 24 children ages 14 to19.

Six weeks ago we received that license from the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and had reasonable expectations of receiving referrals through the 49 Children Aid Societies in Ontario that are funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

Our operational plan was based on receiving these funds following the license being granted.
This did not happen and the centre ran out of funds.

We received many enquiries from various Children Aids Societies (CAS) across Ontario and interested groups that visited the facility to assess our capacity for treatment and care of their clients, should they refer them to Seven Bridges.

Regrettably, most referrals didn’t follow through with the assessment procedure, as the CAS indicated that our per-diem fees cannot be accommodated within their budgets. It is very difficult to understand why a provincial ministry would issue a license to operate this facility knowing that the referring agencies that the ministry funds is underfunded.

It must be noted that the Ministry of Children and Youth Services determined the fees upon which Seven Bridges is to operate this 24 hour 365 days a year facility.

These children have special needs and are ultimately the responsibility of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and without a timely intervention and treatment may become long term addicts and untreated mental health patients.

As a charitable organization we have managed to raise funds to both staff the centre and do the implementation work required to meet the license criteria over the last eight months.

We want to thank the many volunteers and our dedicated staff that ran the centre for over eight months during its start-up and following the license.

David Nathan, Chair of the Georgian Bay Treatment Centre Board

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