Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy speaking at Fraser Health’s announcement of expanded services at Roshni Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 7. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Surrey clinic for South Asians struggling with substance abuse expands hours

Roshni Clinic recently moved to a location across from Surrey Memorial Hospital

Roshni Clinic, which is aimed at supporting people in South Asian communities who are struggling with substance abuse, has expanded its hours.

The expansion was announced at the clinic’s new location at Surrey Substance Use Services at Quibble Creek, across from Surrey Memorial Hospital, on Thursday, Feb. 7. Roshni Clinic, according to a Fraser Health news release, “will now have the ability to connect people to first line treatment for opioid disorder using medications such as Suboxone and methadone.”

The expanded hours of operations include Mondays to Wednesdays from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Roshni Clinic, reads the release, was the first-of-its-kind in the province when it opened in 2017. The clinic uses “culturally-tailored, evidence-based response” to support patients’ needs while providing all services in Punjabi, Hindi and English.

RELATED: Substance use clinic for South Asians opens in Surrey, Sept. 28, 2017

Sharon Vipler, Fraser Health division lead for addiction medicine, said that working as a physician in the hospital and in the withdrawal management centre, she has seen “a shift” when she offers to refer South Asian clients to outpatient services.

“Historically, I saw patients politely decline the referral. Now, when I reassure them that there is a clinic that can provide services in their language, in a culturally safe environment, I have patients accepting that referral,” Vipler said.

“Substance use in the South Asian communities are highly stigmatized and those affected, often don’t know where to get help for themselves or for their loved ones. We know that several factors can impact people in the South Asian community from reaching out for help from mainstream health services.”

Some of the barriers preventing people from reaching out for help could be the language difference, gender inequity, stigma and service inaccessibility, Vipler said.

With the relocation of the clinic, according to a news release, Roshni Clinic “is now able to support an additional 75 to 100 active clients and reduce wait times for new referrals.” In total, there are more than 350 active clients at the clinic.

Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions, said a few months ago she began meeting with people in the South Asian community in Surrey as part of an engagement process to improve mental health and addictions care in B.C.

“I heard very powerful and very moving stories that really opened my eyes. Stories about the very real barriers and also about the shame and stigma that can people in the South Asian community who are living with mental health and substance use issues for reaching out for help,” Darcy said.

“I learned how difficult it can be to ask for help because of family pressures, because of intergenerational issues because of deep-rooted stereotypes about mental illness and about addiction.

The clinic, which has also partnered with DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, will provide “one-on-one and group counselling, as well as psycho-education services.”

Neelam Sahota, CEO at DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, said Surrey’s population is “surging, and in particular, the immigrant population in Surrey has increased by 63.7 per cent over the last decade.”

RELATED: Tailored response in Alberta, B.C. for South Asians addicted to opioids, Jan. 10, 2018

Having not only language-specific services, Sahota said, is “crucial” to providing trust and support.

“More than just language alone is just having a cultural context of cultural norms,” said Sahota, adding that it allows the clients and health-care providers to break down barriers and have open dialogues “of things that sometimes are considered to be kept secretive.”

Asked if there has been an increase for service demand, Vipler said the wait list for Roshni Clinic “was a testament to that demand.”

“What we’ve been able to do with the increased hours and increased staffing in capacities is to bring that wait list down,” she said. We are continuing to see numbers of people being referred to our services, both referrals and self-referrals, through the acute care site, such as the hospital and detox centres.”

The Roshni Clinic, according to the release, is designed to support a person “at any point” in their recovery journey. People can access services by referring themselves or they can be referred by their family physician, detox/daytox centre, sobering centre, hospital or other community-based agencies. It also provides access to safe supplies and Take Home Naloxone for people who need them.

Roshni Clinic was previously located at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre.



lauren.collins@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Lauren on Twitter

 

Sharon Vipler, addictions medicine lead with Fraser Health, speaking at Fraser Health’s announcement of expanded services at Roshni Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 7. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Aman, who has been helped by Roshni Clinic, speaks of his experiences at Roshni Clinic during Fraser Health’s announcement of expanded services at the clinic on Thursday, Feb. 7. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Just Posted

Khan Michael Bourne, of Sechelt, shot dead in Surrey

Bourne found in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue Tuesday, suffering from gunshot wounds. He died in hospital.

VIDEO: Surrey stabbing leaves man with ‘potentially life altering injuries’

Police believe an altercation between two people led to the incident, in the 13700-block of 97A Ave.

Semiahmoo Totems past and present celebrate basketball success

Reigning provincial senior girls hoops champs meet members of school’s 1953 championship team

Earth Day-inspired exhibit focuses on reclaimed fabrics

Semiahmoo Shopping Centre hosts Our Social Fabric display

VIDEO: Surrey RCMP investigating after ‘sudden death’ of man found with critical injuries

Police say a man is dead after being found laying on the ground in the 13300-block of 114th Avenue

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Many teens don’t know they’re vaping nicotine, Health Canada finds

Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey finds youth unaware of nicotine product risk

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

5 to start your day

Death in Surrey being probed by homicide investigators, FOI offers top dog names in White Rock and more

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants fall in overtime

Team still leads WHL series against Spokane

Most Read