Addiction and mental health research gets boost

Surrey partnership commits more than $1 million to creating a centre for innovations in youth care.

A new Surrey partnership has committed more than $1 million to research better care for youth struggling with addictions and those coping with mental illness.

The John Volken Academy (JVA), SFU, the City of Surrey and the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society have contributed $1.25 million for the creation of the SFU Chair in Technology Innovations for Youth Addiction Recovery and Mental Health.

JVA and the city are each committing $500,000 to the project, while the Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society is granting $250,000.

SFU is providing funding for support staff, travel costs and expenses related to the new centre, which will be located in the JVA near 68 Avenue and King George Boulevard.

The JVA is a long-term residential drug and alcohol treatment centrer for young men and women aged 19 to 34.

The new centre will lead research, be part of a larger youth mental health initiative with the city, and teach biomedical engineering and health technology at SFU – with a focus on substance abuse and mental illness.

It’s all part of of Innovation Boulevard, a collection of health, higher education and entrepreneurial technology businesses along King George Boulevard.

”What strikes you right away is how innovative The John Volken Academy is in helping young people affected by addiction.  Partnering with leading-edge science makes perfect sense,” said Dr. Ryan D’Arcy, founding chair of Innovation Boulevard.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said “this partnership takes a unique approach by bringing together technology research and real-world experience delivering treatment.”