Mental Health & Addictions — Is there a solution?

Steven Hall
Together We Can
Published in
3 min readMay 4, 2021

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Together, we can build happy and healthy communities

Mental health and addictions is a hot topic in the media today. Neighbourhoods are being left in shambles as a result of the opioid and addiction epidemic that is plaguing the entire country. The biggest question being asked is how do we help those who have been impacted by this crisis? The best answer to this question is yes. We can fix this through connection, collaboration and teamwork. When we all begin working together, learn more about the issue at hand, and advocate for positive change, we will see that everyone can heal. Not only does the addicted person suffer, but their families and loved ones are often left feeling confused, afraid, and alone. Of course, we begin this process through education and support. Here are five ideas on how you can become part of the solution to this growing struggle:

Girl creates a heart with her hands as the sunset shines through
Show love, care, and compassion to yourself
  1. Self-care — We cannot help others until we help ourselves! Self-care is a buzzword that is being thrown around a lot today, but what does it actually mean? Self-care is the simple act of doing something for you! We have to remember that self-care isn’t selfish. It is the most effective way we can become grounded, rational and learn how to respond instead of reacting. It does not have to be all bubble baths and slow jazz music. It can be taking a walk, deep breathing, doing your hair, finishing that crossword, anything that takes you away from the issues you are handling and allows you a few moments to just exist. Check out this 2-minute video with some quick tips on how you can start taking care of yourself! https://youtu.be/Mqqxi8mt4t0
  2. Peer Support — Building an amazing community of understanding and empathetic peers is paramount in feeling safe, secure, and comfortable. Reaching out and getting vulnerable can be a frightening idea, but after a short while, you will get to see that you are not alone, that there are other people out there who share your same experience. Some of the most common resources for families who have been impacted by a loved one’s addiction are programs like Families Anonymous, Nar-Anon, and Al-Anon.
    https://www.familiesanonymous.org/
    https://al-anon.org/
    https://www.nar-anon.org/
  3. Education — Join programs like TWC’s Family Education Group & Grief and Loss Support Group. These are free, weekly meetings that will help you to learn more about addiction, how you can heal, and where you can be most effective in sharing the message that recovery is possible. For more information, visit www.twcrecoverylife.org/family-support.
Neon sign says think about things differently with differently appearing backwards
Try to see things from another perspective
  1. Keep informed — Listen to industry experts and those with personal experience share the successes they have seen in working with others who have overcome their mental health and addiction struggles. Steven from TWC recently his own journey and thoughts on how we can help those who are struggling with addiction, as he interviews with Jordan Boroditsky from the Own It podcast on Spotify. The Own It podcast is dedicated to breaking stigma through discussions about mental health with people ranging from professionals to students, and everyone in between. Check it out at https://open.spotify.com/show/0SkDBbSVFkVDchedZ6dA1E
  2. Show support — Contact organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association (https://cmha.ca) or Families For Addiction Recovery (https://www.farcanada.org/) to learn how they are advocating for change and how you can be a part of these movements.
Three people sitting and talking on wooden bleachers
Come together to find solutions and support

Let’s all work together to change the conversation from how do we help to this is what we are doing! For more information on Together We Can and the programs that are offered, please visit us online at www.twcrecoverylife.org

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Steven Hall
Together We Can

Steven is the Community Relations Team Lead for Together We Can Drug & Alcohol Recovery & Education Society. Recovering addict living on the lower mainland, BC.