Construction underway on 50-bed mental health facility in Abbotsford

Project will provide 20 assisted-living units and 30 licensed mental-health beds

Dignitaries break ground for a new 50-bed mental health facility on Marshall Road on Friday. From left: Nick Blackman

Dignitaries break ground for a new 50-bed mental health facility on Marshall Road on Friday. From left: Nick Blackman

A new 50-bed mental health facility for adults is under construction in Abbotsford and is expected to be finished in the summer of 2016.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Friday at the site at 33134 Marshall Road, near the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

Mayor Henry Braun told those in attendance that the project is important to the community for many reasons.

He said it will provide people with mental health challenges with support and care, and it “will be right in their own community, where they will be surrounded by their friends and family.”

The development is intended to replace 30 licensed mental health beds from an Abbotsford facility that closed down in 2012. It will also include an additional 20 assisted-living units.

Licensed care beds are the highest level of care for mental health, which includes nursing support, medication, meals and more. The residents in the assisted living units have a more independent living situation, but are also provided with one meal a day.

The site will be managed and operated by the MPA Society, which has been operating mental health housing for 44 year and runs multiple facilities around the Lower Mainland.

David MacIntyre, executive director of the society, said they are looking forward to providing mental health services in this area.

“This project will provide meaningful and ongoing support for 50 people who are in recovery for mental illness.”

The provincial government has arranged about $7.7 million in construction financing, while Fraser Health will provide $755,000 in equity and about $2.5 million annually in operating and support funding.