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Mental Health and Substance Use Opportunities

Fraser Health mental health and substance use services focus on improving overall health and quality of life, harm reduction, primary and collaborative care, withdrawal management, community outreach and residential care. We offer various adult and youth substance rehabilitation and recovery services targeting the most appropriate needs for individuals and communities.

From community mental health centres that offer services to improve quality of life by restoring and preserving mental health at all ages to a range of intensive and highly specialized care services for people living with serious and persistent mental illnesses, Fraser Health offers a variety of career opportunities to support primary and secondary in-patient and community mental health services.

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Hear what the team has to say about their experience working in our Mental Health and Substance Use program. 

Integrated Homelessness Action Response Teams (IHART)

Supporting homeless and at-risk people in the Fraser Health region. 

IHART teams provide integrated, coordinated health services to members of our population who have inadequate or unstable housing. Utilizing a hands-on and direct approach of meeting individuals where they are currently situated. The teams connect with individuals who are unsheltered, in shelters, in homeless encampments, and/or supportive housing environments.  

The teams are comprised of multidisciplinary teams (including nurses, clinicians and support workers) capable of responding to health, mental health, and substance use issues including health promotion and prevention. They will also support continuity of care by providing cohesive linkages to primary care, and Specialized Community Services Programs (SCSP) such as Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Teams and specialized care services focused on seniors.
IHART addresses a broad spectrum of health care concerns, including new and chronic conditions, by enabling supportive wrap-around care for those greatest in need and who have, historically, had the least access to services due to inadequate or unstable housing.
Interested in joining one of the four IHART teams across Fraser Health? Check out these exciting opportunities.

We’re proud of the innovations, research and quality improvement projects we’ve achieved in recent years:

Eat Sleep Console (ESC) aims to improve the health outcomes of babies impacted by perinatal substance use who are at risk of withdrawal by striving to keep the birth parent and newborn together after birth and promoting non-pharmacological care.

“We know that the bond between baby and birth parent is so important to a child’s early development,” says Sarah Kaufman, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Perinatal, who was instrumental in the launch of ESC. “This model builds on that by supporting both baby and birth parent together as a standard of care. Rather than being treated separately, birth parents come alongside their infant’s journey, with the proper support, and the focus is on those skin-to-skin interactions that are so vital.”

“We know that people from all walks of life can struggle with substance use challenges, including new or expecting individuals,” says Sarah Rourke, Clinical Nurse Specialist Neonatal Intensive Care, who co-led ESC implementation. “By transitioning to this new standard of care, we want to help individuals, in whatever stage of their journey they are in, have the best outcomes for not only themselves but also their babies.”
Work by clinical teams at Fraser Health’s Maternal, Infant, Child, and Youth (MICY) program has led to a phased approach of this model at Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Royal Columbian Hospital, with further expansion on the way.

Fraser Health’s Maternal Infant Child and Youth program is thankful for the support from the BC Perinatal Substance Use Project and a BC Support Unit Planning Grant, in collaboration with Maxxine Wright Community Health Centre, Fraser Health Mental Health and Substance Use program, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.  
A Phase 1 state-of-the-art Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre has been developed to treat and support the growing demand for acute mental health services. A patient-centred design uses input from our psychiatrists, clinicians, patients and their families to create an inviting, spacious, and therapeutic sanctuary where patients can feel safe, respected, and free to express their feelings. Windows and natural light, views of the river, wood finishings, nature and First Nations motifs, as well as ‘green’ building features create a beautiful, calming place for patients.


Watch a guided tour video with Dr. Anson Koo, Program Medical Director, Mental Health and Substance Use.

“It’s an exciting time for the team – we’re expanding mental health and substance use services to meet the growing needs of the clients we serve,” shares Louise Setchell, inpatient unit, mental health and substance use manager, Royal Columbian Hospital redevelopment project. “It’s amazing to be part of building the future of mental health and substance use care.”
These rooms use spinning chairs and weighted blankets to help mental-health patients cope with anxiety and depression as part of a continuity of care model that is the first of its kind in B.C. By helping people better understand how their senses impact their mood and behaviour, patients learn how to either stimulate or calm their senses when they need to improve their state of mind. This is one of the innovative ways Fraser Health is helping to improve the lives of people struggling with mental health concerns.
The opening of the largest unit of its kind in B.C, this 24/7 regional crisis unit supports children and youth aged six to 17 who are in acute mental health crisis with psychiatric issues such as depression, psychosis or severe behavioural disorders. In the Snoezelen™ room, bubble tubes can light up, a chair can move to the beat of music, and a milky-way carpet on the wall can light up when touched. Young patients can crawl up, around and over a square foam cube, project images on the ceiling and the wall, sit or lie on the heated floor, cocoon in a heavy blanket, or relax on an elevated mat that gives a gentle massage. The multi-sensory environment/materials can calm and reduce agitation and anxiety through the use of gentle light, soothing sound, relaxing smell and touch. Or, they can stimulate through exciting visuals, music, sounds and textures to explore.

Become a member of a team of specialized doctors, nurses, youth care counselors, social workers and occupational therapists supporting young people in B.C.’s largest inpatient child and adolescent crisis facility.
2017: Opening of SafePoint in Surrey, the first supervised consumption site in North America to be located outside downtown Vancouver. The provision of supervised consumption services is one component of the provincial and regional response to the public health emergency declared in April 2016. Supervised consumption services help reduce the transmission of disease, reduce fatal overdoses, and help connect people to health care services, including treatment.

“When I was studying nursing, I did a practicum at Insite Supervised Consumption Site in downtown Vancouver and was instantly inspired by the work. I had found my purpose. I wanted to help people have access to health care, no matter what their background was… In May 2017, I came to Fraser Health and helped launch SafePoint Supervised Consumption Site. I love seeing new things blossom and have an impact. Success is a thanks or smile from someone who would never engage and now shares their life story with me. It’s seeing a person who is marginalized come here and experience being part of a community.” Sherif Amara, Client Care Coordinator at SafePoint Supervised Consumption Site.  
Are you ready to make an impact with Fraser Health? Create your profile and explore our current list of opportunities. 
Surrey Memorial Hospital
Urgent Care Response Centre
Located in the Charles Barham Pavilion at Surrey Memorial Hospital, the Urgent Care Response Centre provides easy-to-access services for adults in Surrey who need urgent support for a mental health or substance use challenges.

If you are a professional specializing in mental health and substance use, we would love to hear from you. Become a part of our innovative environment. 

Residency in Clinical Psychology

The Fraser Health Residency in Clinical Psychology provides broad-based, scientist-practitioner training in Clinical Psychology. Residents who work with us gain valuable experience working with diverse populations while solidifying their skills in empirically-supported assessment and treatment approaches in both community and hospital-based settings.

We offer two full-time positions which last a total of 12 months. The program provides residents with a planned sequence of training experiences and activities, offering exposure to a variety of problems and adult populations.

Note: The Fraser Health Residency in Clinical Psychology is not currently a Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)- or American Psychology Association (APA)-accredited Residency Program.
The primary supervisors are Registered Psychologists in good standing with the College of Psychologists of British Columbia and each supervisor has at least two years of clinical experience since their initial registration. A minor amount of supervision may be provided by colleagues in other disciplines to meet a resident’s needs, in a manner consistent with Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) standards.
The residency is 12 months in duration, beginning the day after Labour Day in September and continuing until the end of August, the following year.

Benefits include an annual stipend of $40,250, 15 paid vacation days, 10 paid sick leave days, professional development, travel education fund, and extended health insurance. 
For further information regarding applications and the Fraser Health Residency Program, please contact:

Dr. Amanda LaMarre, R. Psych., ABPP-CN, Director of Clinical Training
Mental Health and Substance Use Wellness Centre
Royal Columbian Hospital
330 East Columbia Street, New Westminster, B.C. V3L 3W7
Telephone: 604-520-4662
Fax: 604-520-4871

*The Fraser Health Residency Program is neither Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) nor American Psychology Association (APA) Accredited*

Information on accreditation by the Canadian Psychological Association is available by contacting the following office:

Stewart Madon, PhD, C. Psych, Registrar of Accreditation
Canadian Psychological Association
141 Laurier Avenue West, Suite 702
Ottawa, ON. K1P 5J3
Phone: 613-237-2144 (extension 333) or 1-888-472-0657

For complete information regarding Fraser Health's Residency in Clinical Psychology program, view our full brochure. 
“The Fraser Health region is growing faster than any other region of British Columbia, and so there is an energy and a drive in the organization that you don’t see everywhere. We serve communities ranging from the dense urban environments of Burnaby and Surrey to the farmland of the Fraser Valley further east. It doesn’t get more diverse, unpredictable, and exciting, than it gets right here.”

- Dr. Amy Burns

Clinical Psychologist

Read her full story.