SURREY: In a first of its kind in B.C., Fraser Health has opened a new clinic to support people in the South Asian community who are struggling with substance use. The Roshni Clinic, which loosely translates in English to “clinic bringing light”, offers services that are culturally-tailored to the community.
“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. “Providing culturally sensitive services will help reduce barriers to treatment for people in the South Asian community, help overcome the stigma so often associated with addiction and support people on a path to recovery.”
“This new clinic provides a wide range of services in one location, providing support to a person at any point in their recovery journey,” said Minister of Health Adrian Dix. “By making access to these services as simple as a self-referral, we can help increase the likelihood that people will engage in care, and ultimately begin their road to recovery.”
As part of the existing South Asian Clinic at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, the Roshni Clinic fills a need in service by providing ongoing treatment in an outpatient setting to people who are addressing alcohol and substance use concerns. Services are provided in English, Punjabi, and Hindi.
“Our physicians and staff have told us that providing 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 and insight,” said Fraser Health President and CEO Michael Marchbank. “This clinic was generated by our clinicians and I am extremely proud of their commitment to ensuring thoughtful, high quality care is provided in a culturally sensitive way to help our patients be successful in their journey.”
A person wishing to access services at the Roshni Clinic can refer themselves, or can be referred by their family physician, detox / daytox centre, sobering centre, hospital, or other community-based agency. Working together, physicians and staff provide a number of services, including:
- Intake and assessment
- Medical management of withdrawal symptoms
- Telemedicine visits
- Individual counselling
- Relapse prevention
- Education groups focused on sharing information about substance use
- Family education and support
- Referrals to other community-based services
“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 Dr. Nitasha Puri, medical lead for the Roshni Clinic. “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 implementation of the Roshni Clinic is one part of Fraser Health’s multi-faceted strategy to address substance use in our region, which includes approaches such as prevention, harm reduction and treatment. The need for a substance use clinic to support the South Asian population in Fraser Health stemmed from a needs based planning process that identified specific sub-populations that were underserved in the community.
For people seeking treatment for opioid substance use, Fraser Health has three clinics providing first line treatments (methadone and Suboxone) located in Surrey at:
- Health Solutions on 135A Street (operated by Lookout Emergency Aid Society)
- Quibble Creek Sobering and Assessment Centre
- Creekside Withdrawal Management Centre.
More than 620 people have been connected to first line treatments in Surrey since Fraser Health enhanced capacity this past January.