Helping men through the journey of addiction recovery is very rewarding but often challenging. The majority of those who come to The Ottawa Mission for help with addictions have experienced significant trauma in their lives. Research shows that there is a strong connection between addiction, mental illness, and trauma.
The Mission’s Addiction Services team offers individual and group counselling to men in our programs. Some clients, however, are unable to benefit from traditional talk-based therapy for a few reasons. They may have mild developmental delays or acquired brain injuries which affect their ability to articulate their feelings. They may have mental illness and be unable to communicate clearly. Or they may have experienced traumatic events as a young child and are unable to process those events in words because of the age at which they took place. Thanks to a generous donor, there is now a new program available at The Mission for people with any of these communication barriers.
A licensed Art Therapist now comes into the shelter one afternoon a week to work with men in our addiction treatment programs. In the few months since this program has been up and running, it has proven to be highly effective for those who have difficulty communicating verbally. It also allows men to create art in the form of drawings or collages or other media that they can feel proud of.
Breaking down barriers is a large part of the healing process for anyone suffering from addiction, and we are grateful for the opportunity to add this unique program to the tools that can help the people we serve regain hope.