Kevin Edgecombe, with Edgecombe Builders, stands with Christina Camilleri, founder of Heathy Essentials Clinic,at her clinic’s new location on Hill Road. The mental health clinic opens June 1 in Lake Country. (Carli Berry - Calendar)

Lake Country mental health facility takes holistic approach to recovery

Healthy Essentials Clinic is more than a medical arm

Lights dangle from the ceiling and the floor is covered in dust, rubble and glass from ongoing construction in a complex on Hill Road.

In a few months time, the renovations will be complete and the location at 3121 Hill Rd. will house Healthy Essentials Clinic, a facility that aims to take a collective approach to mental health in the community and beyond.

Christina Camilleri, founder and director of the clinic, said it will have multiple services provided by general practitioners, naturopaths, paediatricians physiotherapists, social workers, councillors and more to help clients on every avenue of their journey.

“This (initiative) is not new, this is just new to Canada,” she said, adding that the holistic approach to mental health has already been ongoing in Germany, Japan and New Zealand.

“Right now we have a fragmented system.”

The clinic will have between three to five physicians and four councillors specializing in mental health and family therapy.

As a registered dietitian and counsellor, Camilleri was familiar with this approach to mental health while working in Ontario with war veterans in the 1980s.

Working at Parkwood Hospital, her team supported her initiatives to help integrate the veterans back into everyday life, the services available for the veterans in one complex.

“Whatever I could use in the community I would interlock with the medical (arm) and our original team at Parkwood Hospital not only focused on medical, but we had pastoral care, we had recreational therapy, we had pharmacists sitting at our table, we had massage therapists and PT and OT, that was our team approach,” she said. “It was wonderful.”

She’s been advocating for a similar facility in B.C. for more than 20 years.

“I was disheartened to see what wasn’t available in the community,” she said after moving to Lake Country in the 90s. “It’s called sharing the burden of care.”

With limited resources in our current health care system, “if it doesn’t meet their needs, it leaves them wanting and then they don’t come back into care. A lot of my clientele have tried everything else and they’ve given up, because they want something,” she added.

RELATED: B.C. centre at forefront of treating mental health and addiction together

The location in Lake Country is perfect because it’s situated between larger municipalities and in a central location with access to a bank, a grocery store, schools and the highway, she said.

Once competed, the clinic will have about 210 clients in structure programming, meaning “through their complete journey to recovery,” she said.

The full program includes nutrition, fitness, mental and medical support.

Camilleri also got a hand from her two daughters, who helped make her dream come true.

Alexandria Pankratz is designing the layout for the building and Mikayla Pankratz is handling the marketing arm.

The official opening date for the clinic is June. 1. Construction is set to be completed in the next 12 weeks.

Coun. Blair Ireland also endorses the facility, saying it’s a way to address mental health concerns with youth, to prevent them from ending up on the streets in a proactive, rather than reactive approach.

“Mental health is a huge issue and it’s something we’re not tackling in any major way,” Ireland said.

To find out more about Healthy Essentials visit http://healthyessentialsclinic.ca.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Muslim students hold vigil to support New Zealand victims

A vigil will be held Monday night at UBC Okanagan

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sunny days ahead

It’s beginning to feel like spring in Kelowna

Southern Interior worst for animal-related crashes

ICBC stats put the interior at 4,800 incidents in 2017

More places in Kelowna to eat plant-based meat

Vegans and Vegetarians have a few more places to indulge

Kelowna loves St. Patrick’s Day

Residents painted the town green with some great events

Defiant vigil starts healing in New Zealand after massacre

Police say the gunman in the shooting that killed 50 acted alone

Facebook announces changes to political advertising to meet new federal rules

Bill C-76 bans the use of money from foreign entities to conduct partisan campaigns

National Arts Centre spotlights Indigenous and female artists in upcoming season

Other musical offerings include a salute to Canada’s Indigenous composers

Travel expected to be slowed by fallout from fire at Toronto’s Pearson airport

All U.S.-bound flights from Terminal 1 were cancelled Sunday night after the fire broke out near a security checkpoint

Trudeau fills vacancy in cabinet with B.C. MP Joyce Murray

Murray, 64, was elected in 2008 and served previously as a minister in B.C.’s provincial government

Leivo nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Stars 3-2

Schaller scores first 2 goals of season for Vancouver

UBC study shows honey bees can help monitor pollution in cities

Scientists analyzed beehives in high density urban areas to those off on Galiano Island

Most Read