Centre for youth mental health will be national leader on completion

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The new centre will provide families with greater access to timely assessments, intervention and therapy, and ultimately reduce admissions and lengths of stay in the hospital.

The new facility is on land adjacent to the original ADAC building that has been used since to support the youth mental-health and substance program. Together they will form a campus-style complex with complementary services to support each other.

Designed by Suhari & Partners Architecture, project architect Lee Miller says the centre was fashioned after many meetings with an advisory council that drew ideas from parents and youth who wanted a welcoming, bright, well-lit structure with connection to the outdoors.

Families asked for less-institutional options that could increase young people’s willingness to accept care.

Miller says the centre will be a model for sustainability, employing passive systems, a high-performance building envelope, and efficient and integrated building systems, minimizing environmental effects, energy and resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The main floor will have no traditional waiting room space but rather open into a living-room style with comfortable seating and an area offering space for schoolwork or entertainment.

The second floor offers Intensive Treatment Services. A first of its kind in Calgary, it will help young people manage acute escalating symptoms to prevent and reduce the need for hospitalization. Its services include assessment, multi-disciplinary testing, individual, family and group therapy, and outreach to provide in-home and/or school support.

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