Sometimes all any of us need is a Safe Harbour to rest in – a refuge of shelter and support. Safe Harbour House strives to offer just that, to people who are moving towards wellness.
Safe Harbour House provides assisted living under the provincial government’s supportive recovery classification. It also provides safe housing and psychosocial support to people experiencing a mental health or substance-use related crises. The program has a recovery focus and referrals are triaged and managed by Island Health’s Community Outreach Response Team. Services are directed towards adults with serious and persistent mental health issues who may also have problems with substance use.
Often people experiencing this kind of crisis slip quickly into a need for hospitalization, which may make their situations deteriorate further. Safe Harbour intends to provide an alternative to that path, giving space for recovery in a more home-like environment, with friendly staff and home cooked meals – small things that can make a world of difference.
In addition to providing alternatives to unnecessary hospitalisation, beds at safe harbour can also offer transitions to housing for Island Health clients after a stay in the hospital, as temporary respite, or to provide a safe place for monitoring and recovery. Stays at Safe Harbour are from overnight to 2 weeks—and sometimes longer— reflecting the program focus on bridging the gaps between health services.
All five beds are for the exclusive use of Nanaimo Mental Health and Substance Use teams with two of those beds made available for use by clients referred by island health clinicians at Clearview Centre. Island Health’s Crisis response team provides primary assessment and clinical support for the clients and program.