New Wellness Centre will provide much needed health services

I was present from the beginning of the meeting and heard all of the feedback presented by the group

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New Wellness Centre will provide much needed health services

Re: “Advocates disappointed but optimistic after meeting with Premier about Cowichan Wellness Centre location”, Cowichan Valley Citizen, Dec. 16, 2020

Dear editor:

I would like to clarify some points in the above-mentioned article by reporter Kevin Rothbauer about a recent meeting between representatives of Island Health, the B.C. Government and the community group A Voice for Our Children.

I was present from the beginning of the meeting and heard all of the feedback presented by the group. At no time did I make the statements that were attributed to me in the article [by one of the community group members] about the Cowichan Leadership Group’s position.

I also want to take this opportunity to highlight the broad spectrum of much needed health services that the new facility will provide for people, including primary care, outreach services, rehab and recovery services, mental and emotional health supports and connections to treatment for those distressed with substance use challenges. Supervised consumption is just a small part of the comprehensive wrap-around services.

This facility is the first of its kind in Cowichan and will change lives for the better.

In 2016, our province declared a public health emergency in response to the significant rise in opioid-related deaths. We continue to grapple with this devastating crisis and its immense impact on our families and communities. We are all committed to our children’s well-being and safety. When people get the health care they need, it helps them and it helps communities — that is what this new centre is designed to do.

There are no simple solutions to these challenges, and it will be necessary to continue having difficult conversations in the future. It is important that our discussions be both accurate and respectful.

Shannon Waters

Medical Health Officer

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