The construction of a treatment centre for youth with complex mental health needs in Paradise is moving forward it was announced Thursday.
The tender for the initial phase of construction has been awarded to Urban Contracting (J.J. Walsh) Ltd. at a cost of $344,000.
According to a news release, work undertaken will include the abatement and disposal of hazardous materials, demolition of the former Paradise Elementary School, and backfilling to level the site with materials suitable for further construction.
Further tenders for the building will be announced before the end of this year.
“Our government recognizes the concerns that have been raised by some about the placement of this treatment centre,” said Susan Sullivan, minister of health and community services. “However, as we are all aware, mental illness is not something to be feared. The provincial government has the ability to help youth dealing with complex mental health issues and it is our duty to maintain our commitment to this project and to help those in need.”
The centre will accommodate up to 12 young people ages 12 to 18. The facility will have three separate living quarters containing four bedrooms with private bathrooms, a kitchen and a lounge area. The centre will have a school area, a multipurpose room, a physical fitness room and a dedicated space for overnight stays for visiting family. The estimated average length of stay, depending on the needs of the youth, is six to 12 months.
“Our government is committed to strengthening mental health services in Newfoundland and Labrador,” Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services. “The stigma that surrounds mental illness can often be a significant deterrent for young people to seek much needed help. The treatment that will be provided at the Paradise centre will allow our youth to receive essential services close to their homes, friends and families.”