Construction on the Restigouche Hospital Centre, formerly known as the Provincial Hospital, began in Campbellton in 1951 at the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain. The facility was built based on a recommendation by the Baxter Inquiry Commission for a new psychiatric hospital in the northern part of the province. The hospital opened officially on June 12, 1954.
In 1968, the hospital intensified its efforts to focus more on rehabilitation.
In 1972, the Department of Health decided to reorganize the services provided at the hospital and set at 478 the number of beds allocated to deliver psychiatric care. This included 24 beds on a maximum security unit, now known as the Forensic Psychiatry Unit. The hospital has five other main departments: Acute Care, Rehabilitation, Psychogeriatrics, Mental Retardation, and an Infirmary.
In 1976, the Department of Health created a board of directors. The Board’s original role was purely advisory, but in July 1978 is was given full power and authority to carry out its mandate. At the same time, a new corporation, the “Restigouche Hospital Centre Inc.”, was formed.
In June 1984, thanks to the efforts of the community and of all employees, the facility was accredited by the Canadian Council on Hospital Accreditation (now Accreditation Canada). At that time the hospital had 350 beds as a result of a first attempt at deinstitutionalization for 125 patients.
In the early 1990s, the RHC launched a second community reintegration project for a number of patients. Today, the RHC has 172 beds, and a third deinstitutionalization project currently under way is allowing patients receiving long-term care to return to their communities.
In 2007, the Department of Health announced that a new hospital would be built to replace the existing RHC, which is outdated. Construction started in 2010 and the new 140-bed psychiatric hospital is scheduled to be completed in 2014. At the same time, the Restigouche Hospital Centre has adopted a new mission and new guidelines that reaffirm its objective of providing optimal psychiatric care. This includes the adoption of a new recovery-based care model.