New Indigenous-led addictions clinic in Winnipeg to focus on culturally-relevant treatment

Winnipeg will be home to a new Indigenous-led RAAM addictions clinic, but some say the province should shift their focus from treatment to safe supply.

Winnipeg will be home to a new Indigenous-led addictions clinic, provincial mental health and community wellness minister Sarah Guillemard announced Tuesday.

The province is spending $893,000 on the new Rapid Access to Addictions Medicine (RAAM) clinic, expected to open this spring at the Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre.

Guillemard said the funding is part of Manitoba’s work toward reconciliation, and that the facility will offer culturally-relevant programming.

“Manitobans are experiencing harms related to substance use, so our government is taking concrete action to ensure a wide range of evidence-based addictions supports are available to those who need them,” she said Tuesday morning from Thunderbird House.

“We are committed to advancing reconciliation and we recognize the importance of working collaboratively with Indigenous organizations, rights-holders and community partners to support the mental health and well-being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.”

The new facility will be the third RAAM clinic in Winnipeg and the seventh in Manitoba overall, joining clinics in Brandon, Thompson, Portage la Prairie and Selkirk.

RAAM peer support worker Britney Easter said this type of clinic provides essential services to the community.

“RAAM makes a difference in lives every day by providing access to doctors, nurses, clinicians, peer support workers, medication, withdrawal management services and other treatments,” Easter said.

“More than people and processes, it gives real hope and the access to turn that hope into recovery. RAAM opens doors to finding a life that seemed lost.

“Every clinic that opens means hundreds, maybe thousands of people will have a chance to recover.”

Guillemard said the new clinic will operate five days a week — with some extended evening and weekend hours — and handle up to 2,300 patient visits each year, with potential for that to be expanded.



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