SURREY — Fraser Health has opened a new clinic to support South Asian people struggling with substance abuse, which is said to be a first for the province.
The Roshni Clinic, which is said to loosely translate to “clinic bringing light,” offers “culturally-tailored” services.
“For the first time in B.C., South Asian British Columbians living in Fraser Health struggling with addictions will have a clinic specifically designed to meet their needs,” said Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy in a release. “Providing culturally sensitive services will help reduce barriers to treatment for people in the South Asian community (and) help overcome the stigma so often associated with addiction and support people on a path to recovery.”
The health authority said the clinic will fill a need, after identifying this population was underserved, and that this new clinic is just one part of its strategy to address addiction in the region.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the new clinic will provide a range of services to support people “at any point in their recovery journey.”
Services will be provided in English, Punjabi and Hindi, and the clinic will offer ongoing outpatient treatment for people struggling with alcohol and substance use.
The clinic’s services will include intake and assessment; medical management of withdrawal symptoms; counselling; relapse prevention; education groups; family education and support; and referrals to community-based resources. To access services, people can refer themselves or can be referred by a doctor, detox centre, hospital or other community agency.
Fraser Health President and CEO Michael Marchbank said staff have expressed that “culturally sensitive care allows them to better engage with clients, and the Roshni Clinic is an initiative that is truly a result of their idea.”
Dr. Nitasha Puri will be the medical lead for the Roshni Clinic.
“We know that in the South Asian community, problematic substance use is a concern that is often highly stigmatized, and people do not always know how to seek support for themselves or a loved one,” said Puri. “By tailoring the services we deliver to the specific needs of each person in ways that are sensitive to the values and norms inherent in their life and culture, we hope to increase the likelihood that they will begin the road to recovery.”
The clinic has opened its doors in the existing South Asian Clinic based out of the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.
Fraser Health also has three Surrey clinics providing first line treatments, including methadone and suboxone.
More than 620 people have been connected to first line treatments in Surrey since we enhanced capacity this past January, according to the health authority.