KELOWNA– Individuals in Kelowna with mental health and substance use disorders will benefit from an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team. This targeted support is a ‘first-of-its-kind’ for the Interior.

IH will establish ACT teams in Kelowna and Kamloops, as well as a crisis response team in Williams Lake to serve the Cariboo-Chilcotin and 100 Mile House. Funding for the ACT teams and the crisis response team is provided jointly, with Interior Health contributing $2 million and the Ministry of Health providing $2 million for a total of $4 million.

“The ACT team reaches out directly to clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” says Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick. “It will be able to offer more intensive intervention and support to clients who need it.”

“We’ve seen the success of ACT teams in other parts of the province,” says Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson. “They are a great asset to those struggling with the challenges of mental health and substance use, helping them manage their symptoms in the community rather than the emergency ward.”

“This is one more service available in the region for people with mental health and substance use issues,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “Once the team is up and running it will offer treatment, rehabilitation and support.”

Interior Health is in the process of hiring staff, and hopes to see the team in place by February with clinical programs starting in the late spring and early summer.