Searching for health resources in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows has never been easier.
A new one-stop online shop called the Ridge Meadows Pathways Community Service Directory is up and running to provide easy access to local and provincial health care resources and information.
The directory came about after physician members of the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice partnered with the City of Maple Ridge and the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows-Katzie Community Network.
“It’s been in the making for so many years because every social service table, every social service provider struggles with getting their program and resources out to the public,” said project manager Cheryl Ashlie with the Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice.
The directory provides easy access to resources for family counselling, wellness support, substance abuse and addictions support, mental health support, chronic pain support, family doctor care, seniors’ services and maternity care.
The first conversation Ashlie ever heard about there being a central place for a resource directory was more than two decades ago when she was on the Board of Education.
At that point, Ashlie said, they were talking about a print version.
The issue with print, though, said Ashlie, is that there is always that changing dynamic of programs not being there, new ones being initiated and others no longer being funded.
“It’s almost impossible if you do it in a print version to keep it current,” said Ashlie.
It was only last year that Ashlie was tasked with getting the current online directory up and running with the Division of Family Practice, which she said, was easy to do because this community is already so connected through the Community Network.
Sunny Schiller, coordinator of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows-Katzie Community Network, is being funded by the city an extra four hours a week to keep the directory current.
Ashlie says the directory is very intuitive. She says a person can type in something as simple as loneliness into the search engine and different activities will come up that they can participate in.
“They could literally type in addictions and then everything that is locally available around addictions support, local or provincial will come up,” she said.
The Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice is a community-based group of family physicians working together to achieve common health care goals. They work collaboratively with community and health care partners to enhance local patient care and improve professional satisfaction for physicians.
The Ridge Meadows Pathways Community Service Directory can be accessed at findaresourceridgemeadows.ca.