November 21-27, 2021 is National Addictions Awareness Week and we would like to shine a light on our Mental Health and Addictions Program at Conayt. Headed by Richard Jackson Jr, the program offers one-on-one sessions, a men’s group, a wellbriety group, and school outreach. Richard has been a Certified Addictions Counsellor for 27 years and has served on the Board of Directors for the Round Lake Treatment Centre in Vernon for the last 16 years.
His own personal health routine is what prepares and enables Richard to be the best he can be for his clients, and it’s something he recommends for everyone: a good diet, exercise, enough sleep, and plenty of water (water is both cleansing and healing!). This is the basis for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, together with strong relationships and personal routine like attending ceremonies and sweat lodges.
Richard’s office is a safe space, a second home for those who work with him. The first step is a commitment to be open, honest, and transparent with oneself. Addictions counselling at Conayt offers a space where clients can be all those things, and begin their work on the path to a healthy lifestyle. Addiction has no respect, so that’s where the work starts - showing kindness to oneself and to others means showing more respect, and it’s the antidote to addiction.
It’s a long road ahead with possible setbacks and failures, but putting in the work will pay off in the long run, and trauma can fade and make space for a balanced life. Trauma means pain, and while we always have to take the good with the bad in life, when the bad is overwhelming it can result in trauma and cause harm. The 2021 wildfires, the Covid-19 Pandemic, and the recent discovery of unmarked graves at the Kamloops Residential School (and other residential schools) have both contributed to existing generational trauma and fuelled unbalance which leads to more trauma.
Richard hears a lot about anger from his clients, which he defines as happiness being turned inside out. And rather than continuing to fuel trauma and anger, he helps his clients fuel healthy habits and a balanced lifestyle:
There is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. The wolf that wins is the one you feed. ~ indigenous legend
Get in touch with Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the options available to you.