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Announcement

Thorpe Recovery Centre challenges you to be a Sober Hero this September

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Thorpe Recovery Centre invites you and your friends, family, and colleagues to participate in this year’s Sober September campaign. Sober September started as a challenge to participate in 30 days of sobriety in the month of September in order to gain a bit of understanding of the challenges someone in recovery faces everyday: peer pressure, habit, convenience, comfort. It has since evolved into one of the organization’s largest fundraisers, raising over $15,000 in 2020.

Says Sara Fox, Development Coordinator for Thorpe Recovery Centre, “This year, the campaign is shifting its focus to encouraging participants, also known as Sober Heroes, to take up a personal challenge by either giving up something that is potentially unhealthy or taking up a healthy habit. Whether our Sober Heroes are going without alcohol or tobacco, coffee, online shopping, binge watching Netflix, or eating too much sugar, or they decide to add yoga, meditation, or running to their daily routine, the benefits to self and our community are sure to be felt!”

Just like the 700+ people who participate in Thorpe Recovery Centre’s programs each year to improve their wellness, seize the opportunity to bring positive and durable changes to your daily life, to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and discover a different side of yourself!

Here is how you can get started as a Sober Hero:

Step 1: Choose the personal challenge you want to take up during Sober September.

Step 2: Sign up by visiting https://bit.ly/3mfVu1Y clicking on “Fundraise.” You can create a team or participate on your own!

Step 3: Share your Sober Hero fundraising page and invite your friends and family to support you.

Step 4: Make it fun! Have a friendly competition with your peers to see who can raise the most funds or maintain their personal challenge for most consecutive days.

Sober Heroes will receive helpful resources throughout the month to encourage progress, not perfection while they are on their Sober September journey.

100% of the collected funds will help to ensure Thorpe Recovery Centre’s facility remains safe, warm, and welcoming to anyone in need.

Thorpe Recovery Centre is a non-profit addiction treatment facility that has served the Lloydminster area since 1975. Through the support of the community and campaigns such as Sober September, the organization has been able to provide accredited and licensed medically supported detox, a residential treatment program, post-treatment recovery management, and support programs for individuals who are impacted by a loved one’s addictive behaviours. Based on the 2018 Lloydminster Needs Assessment:

1 in 5 Canadians struggle with mental illness and/or an addiction

1 in 3 Lloydminster area residents struggle with these same issues themselves making it the highest rated issue in our community.

2 in 5 Lloydminster area residents identified having had a family member or friend who were impacted by addiction.

Sober Heroes will unite this September to support recovery. Will you join us? For more information, contact Sara Fox, Development Coordinator for the Thorpe Recovery Centre at 780-875-8890 or send an email to giving@thorperecoverycentre.org.

 

 

 

Positive Visit from Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

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On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the team at Thorpe Recovery Centre welcomed the Government of Alberta’s Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addiction Mike Ellis to tour the facility and grounds. The Associate Minister was accompanied by the Ministry’s Chief of Staff, Marshall Smith, and also Sheldon Bailey.

“It was a pleasure to showcase the Centre to Associate Minister Ellis,” stated Thorpe Recovery Centre’s CEO, Teressa Krueckl, “our relationship with the Ministry has been growing stronger and through positive interactions such as today’s, we look forward to continuing to build resources to help those on their recovery journey.”

Mr. Ellis and his team sat down with program participants and Thorpe team members to discuss the future of mental health and addiction treatment services. Joanne Wright, Counselling Manager remarked, “I enjoyed the time they took to sit with our clients. Associate Minister Ellis gave the clients the opportunity to share a bit about themselves, what they are grateful for, and what they need more support on regarding their own mental health and addictions. The clients really felt heard, and it showed.”

Other aspects of the visit included discussions with the organization’s senior leadership team, tour of the newly-opened Serenity Garden, and lunch with program participants. Overall, Thorpe Recovery Centre’s team felt valued to be seen and heard as an important part of the Government of Alberta’s response to the increasing need for mental health and addiction supports in the province. The pandemic has put additional strain on individuals and the organization will continue to evolve and work with governments to provide quality therapeutic services.

Associate Minister Ellis was appointed his new role in July 2021, replacing the Honourable David Luan; he also serves as MLA of the United Conservatives Party for the Calgary-West constituency. Prior to entering the Legislative Assembly, he spent twelve years with the Calgary Police Service, working with vulnerable Calgary citizens.

To learn more about Thorpe Recovery Centre visit thorperecoverycentre.org. For media inquiries, contact Sara Fox, Development Coordinator at giving@thorperecoverycentre.org or 780-875-8890.

Promising Practices Podcast: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (AB)

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Promising Practices Podcast: Recovery Oriented Systems of Care (AB)

What is Recovery Capital and how is it applied in Alberta substance use disorder treatment settings?

Alberta’s person-centred approach addresses more than an individual’s mental health and addiction challenges. It’s about improving their quality of life by supporting balance and healing in all aspects of their health and wellness. The Alberta model is based on successful practices seen around the world.

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Introducing: True Recovery Co.

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Introducing: True Recovery Co.

Wear Recovery with Pride.

In April we launched our own line of clothing! True Recovery Co. began as an idea to share the message that recovery is possible.

We want to celebrate life and the joy recovery brings. With 1 in 5 Canadians living with mental health concerns, it is time we shared our stories out loud and let our loved ones know that support is available. Regardless if your life experience includes substance use disorder, anxiety, depression, disordered eating, or another challenge, we’re all on our own recovery journey.

The sale of each item from True Recovery Co. supports the programs and services at Thorpe Recovery Centre.

Together let’s celebrate recovery.

You can Shop Now at www.thorperecoverycentre.square.site. We have new and exciting items being added to the site soon!

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A Pandemic Year in Review

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A Pandemic Year in Review

by Sara F., Development Coordinator

February 2020: we celebrate the announcement that the Alberta Government will fund an additional 30 Residential Treatment and six Medically Supported Detox beds in addition to topping-up the fees paid for detox to meet the standard per-diem at Thorpe Recovery Centre. This commit of $2.2M a year, for three years, will help over 260 additional Albertans who struggle with substance use disorders each year. Although the funding is below the operating cost, it enables the organization to focus on filling beds and improving care. Plans are set to hire a Social Worker, Recreation Therapist, Psych Nurse, and enhance the nursing and counselling teams. The funding is a dream come true to finally see the Centre near its capacity.

Then, comes the announcement on March 16. The Coronavirus encroaches on Alberta and we’re at a standstill on what to do next. The threat of an outbreak at the Centre is daunting. Our team takes action to reduce exposure at the facility and adopts the protocols Chief Medical Officer of Health CMOH 06-2020, the first of our ministerial orders in response to the pandemic. Suddenly, our newly available beds are no longer desired for the fear of infection. It takes a few weeks, but the communication of our funded beds as well as our health and safety protocols reach our referrals and we see admission numbers slowly rise.

During this time, we are humbled by the support of the community with donations of fabric masks, ear-saver bands, and medical masks. We were able to equip our front-line staff and clients with the tools necessary to host safe in-person sessions.

When working in a Community Therapeutic Model, it is difficult to reimagine programming when we’ve all been integrated as a unit. Group sizes are reduced, limiting the peer support. Masks are donned, making it difficult to convey and understand a story. Connection is waning across the facility. We relied on the communion of peer groups and support. We relied on our large gatherings of the Thorpe community to celebrate achievements. We had to stop recreational and support group outings, encouraging high-fives, the comfort of hugs, the intimacy of family visits. We had an identity crisis; what is a community model without the community?

One of our first adjustments to maintain connection was investing in web cams to join the online 12-step and SMART Recovery support group meetings. Our rapport with the surrounding recovery community is one of the pillars of success of those we serve.

By June, we successfully modified programming in a meaningful way while maintaining infection prevention and control protocols. This included an increase of staffing to host smaller groups, connecting those we serve with resources in their home community, offering our Family Intensive online, using our gymnasium as a meeting and therapeutic activity space, and embracing technology as best as possible to connect across the facility and into the recovery community. Our Lunch & Learns are now hosted online and more accessible to our broader community; we now have attendees from as far as Calgary and Moose Jaw.  We found our stride with the amended ministerial orders and with the help of the Tent Guys, we are able to host outdoor family visits to reconnect those we serve with their loved ones in a safe manner.

On through to the Fall, when we were to celebrate our 45th year improving lives. This, of course, is put on hold with the hope we can celebrate in-person “once this whole pandemic blows over” (ha!). A silver lining of the pandemic is the awareness brought to mental health needs in our communities. In September we have a record-breaking Sober September campaign and our 60 Sober Heroes raise over $15,000 for the Centre. The 840% increase in funds raised is thanks to a better understanding of the importance of mental wellness. Thank you to everyone who participated and donated to this campaign.

Positive COVID-19 cases continued to climb in Alberta and we came to the realization that we’re committed to modified programming for the long-haul. We look to modify our largest space, the gymnasium, into a better environment for meetings. At the time, voices were echoed, making it near-impossible to hold a decent group discussion or meeting. With the assistance of funds from Sober September we were able to install sound absorption panels in the rafters which significantly improved the quality of sessions within the gym.

UW Cheque Presentation

Realizing we could not celebrate our 45th year in person any time soon, we opted to host our Annual General Meeting online. With a modest, yet effective, attendance of society members, we bid farewell to outgoing chairperson, Tom Lysyk, and director, Richard Stephens, and welcomed new directors Greg Buchanan, Blake Hassall, Sharon Williams, Marty Kindrachuk, and Gary Herriot. The usual presentations and showcase of our year-in-review was foregone for the sake of brevity. Needless to say, we look forward to hosting our supporters in the future to share in the stories of the lives they changed.

Enter December 2020 and we find ourselves with a staff-related positive case and are on lockdown. Admissions are halted, clients are now isolated in their dorms and staff contact is restricted. With funds from the Lloydminster & District United Way we are able to purchase isolation kits with TVs, game consoles, DVD players on carts to travel through the hallways to bring entertainment between the one-on-one sessions with counsellors (since group meetings are no longer possible). The tone within the facility is unsettling. Staff are frustrated that they cannot continue with the traditional treatment plans and come up with unique ways to engage the therapeutic community. Clients are frustrated with their sudden loss of community and freedom. Because of the unanticipated lockdown and the realization that Christmas is around the corner, nearly half of our population decides to terminate treatment prematurely. Our team continues to strive for a positive experience and makes the best of the holiday.   However, after two weeks and two rounds of testing of all staff, clients, volunteers, and contractors, we have no other cases and are cleared to resume ‘normal’ operations.

We start the new year with a sigh of relief. We made it through our first case and have found a strength we didn’t know existed. Our team is sharp, focussed, and we all work together to provide the best possible treatment program. With admissions resuming, we have a flood of new clients and welcome 67 new faces into our Centre; quite possibly the most people we’ve ever had in a single month!

That brings us to today. We look back on the year that transformed how we approach recovery and wellness. This was a year of transformation; and although the pandemic has brought challenges, we have emerged stronger than ever. We have improved the client’s connection to their home communities through Alumni Mentors and resources through our Social Workers, we have modified our staffing to better support those we serve, we have made our Family Intensive program more accessible to those who are affected by addiction.

The pandemic has been a nuisance, but perhaps it is something we can still be grateful for. Finding the little joys in every day is something we encourage at the Centre, and we would be hypocritical if we didn’t follow this practice too.

We wish to thank everyone who has reached out, supported, and advocated for mental health and addiction this past year. You have made the pandemic a shining moment in Thorpe’s history.

Introducing: Our Director of Operations

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Introducing: our Director of Operations

In November we welcomed Tim Van Staden as our Director of Operations. Previously in the role of Facility Manager, Tim has an excellent knowledge of the organization and is an asset to the Leadership Team.

We’re glad to still have you on our team, Tim, in this exciting and new capacity!

“I am looking forward to the many new challenges that will certainly come during my transition into this role over the next few weeks.  This includes learning new skills and continuing to develop existing ones.

As the Director of Operations I want to continue to build trust between myself and our team through effective and open communication.  I will continue to use a team-based approach whenever possible being a positive role model through my words and my actions.

I appreciate and am so grateful for the opportunity to develop new skills, continuing to be a valued member of this amazing team whom together we provide a safe place for our clients to access the addiction treatment needed to move forward in a positive manner in each of their lives.”

Phone: 780.875.8890
Toll Free: 1.877.875.8890
info@thorperecoverycentre.org
F: 780.875.2161

P.O. Box 291,
21060 Tranquility Way
Blackfoot, AB T0B 0L0

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