Mental health and addiction are issues that have been in the news a lot recently. It’s something that touches many of us at some time, whether personally or through a friend or family member. Dealing with these challenges can be overwhelming, even if you have a good support network.
While stigma still hangs over mental health and addictions, fortunately attitudes are changing — and for the better. In the past, addiction was often linked to moral character and mental illness, lumping these in together. It was a “spiritual” problem, not medical.
Fast forward to 2021, and through better understanding of mental health and addiction, available treatments tend to focus on the medical, but can neglect the human side of the equation.
Forward House in Parksville is reframing recovery, taking care of the whole person by creating a community of support.
Recovery from addiction can be difficult to talk about, leaving those affected feeling like they’re on the outside. Forward House recognizes that everyone needs to belong and to feel accepted for who they are, and that recovery looks different for everyone. Traditional 12-step programs work for some folks, but there’s no one-size-fits-all program.
Focusing on the individual, the aim is to build a recovery program that fits what that individual needs in their life right now and for the future. Part of recovery from any illness is having others around you who understand what you’re going through. The team at Forward House have found their vocation to help others with addiction and mental health issues because they have walked in those same shoes.
Compassion and community relationships help support everyone
From the beginning, the goal at Forward House was to create a space where everyone can come and access resources without personal cost, offering counselling, support groups, expressive therapies, recreation, education and vocational rehabilitation, and always with compassion and attention to the individual’s personal needs.
“We wanted to make recovery fit what each person needed with as few barriers as possible,” notes Sareh Tracey, addiction and recovery nurse.
Unique to Forward House is their Healthy Meals program, offering the chance to enjoy a meal family-style around a table for a minimal cost, feeding body and the soul. On Wednesday, dinner is followed by a recovery support circle for those who wish to participate. “Everyone loves the dinner! It’s a chance to break bread and share about our lives and experiences. There are people from all walks of life who attend and find a dynamic, supportive community,” notes Sareh.
Coming up on September 29, Forward House is holding the Reframing Recovery Art Show at the Bayside Hotel from 4 to 8 pm. Admission is by donation!
September is Recovery Month! Parksville Save On Foods and Quality Foods have partnered with Forward House to fundraise for their Recovery Initiative Program. For the month of September, customers can contribute $2 or $5 at the till to support this much-needed initiative.
No matter what stage you’re at, or what help you need, the Forward House team is here to listen. Call 250-954-0785 or 250-927-6303 (recovery line) or contact them by their email form here. They are located right in Parksville. Find them on Facebook here.