Peak House is a voluntary, ten-week, live-in treatment program for youth seeking freedom from problematic substance use. The program is hosted by Pacific Youth and Family Services Society and funded by Vancouver Coastal Health and serves youth from across BC who, due to the serious nature of their substance use, require a more intensive level of service than can be provided in their home community. The program is for youth of all genders between 13-18 years old and operates within the harm reduction spectrum with a trauma informed, client centered, and social justice framework.
The Ministry of Education’s Provincial Resource Program (PRP) at Peak House serves as a therapeutic school program by providing academic continuity and re-engagement opportunities for youth while they attend addictions recovery. An individualized education program is developed for each student to support their educational and career/employment goals for their time at Peak House and their transition to community after the program. The students attend school in the morning four days a week and a weekly educational fieldtrip in art, community recreation or post-secondary exploration. The PRP also provides transition services by working collaboratively with the student, their family, and the multidisciplinary team, and liaises with and supports the community school and district to provide appropriate learning and support services.
Peak House accepts referrals from counsellors in the community. The involvement of the community alcohol and drug counsellor, whose role is providing an accurate assessment and referral, participating in treatment planning, providing follow-up counselling and assisting in aftercare planning, is essential. Due to the importance of ‘service matching’ clients to the appropriate resource, Peak House relies on the expertise of community service providers to make appropriate referrals to the program. Counsellors can access the referral package on the Peak House website (https://peakhouse.ca/)
Effective June 01, 2018: Referrals to the Peak House program are to be forwarded to Vancouver Coastal Health, Centralized Addictions Intake Team (CAIT). The team will be responsible for forwarding completed referrals to the admission committee.
Once a referral is accepted and a match in service assessed, the Peak House Intake & Assessment Counsellor will contact the young person’s referring counsellor to estimate an approximate intake date and arrange to speak with the youth directly for a Pre-Intake appointment. During this conversation we will set-up a Pre-Intake time either in-person or over the phone (depending on where the young person lives).
The last two to three weeks at Peak House are dedicated to aftercare planning, ideally including family and professional supports to help facilitate a safe transition back into the young person’s community. The referring counsellor receives the young person’s After-Care Plan and uses it along with the completion letter from their Peak House Clinical Counsellor to guide post-program support and services. Once the young person leaves Peak House, they are encouraged to return for four aftercare therapy sessions. These sessions can be individual or family sessions and can be done in-person or over Skype. In addition to the aftercare sessions, staff are available for phone support and the youth may join a monthly alumni group meeting. Former residents are also invited to come back to Peak House to speak to current youth about their experiences.
The school program at Peak House offers post-program services. If appropriate, the school program can provide post-program weekly school service if the young person is living in the local area and are not attached to a community school. If the school transition plan is not established at their exit, the provincial resource teacher at Peak House can provide transition and consultation services to the youth, the family and their community school.