A Mother’s Mission:
Dianne Young is a mother on a mission to bring improved services to people suffering from addiction and mental health challenges. Dianne lost her son Lennon in 2013 by suicide after a long-tormented illness of schizophrenia and drug addiction. For the first few years after her son’s death, she pressed legislators for better services and even led a protest at Province House to convince lawmakers to do more to help Islanders struggling with addiction and mental health. She is convinced that lives can be saved if proper supports are put in place. She decided to go to the Diocese of Charlottetown to speak to Bishop Richard Grecco in hopes that the diocese would help to open a recovery home. At the time she was thinking of all the empty houses that were once occupied by Priests. That first meeting led to a number of subsequent meetings. Bishop Grecco’s heart was touched by Dianne’s story and struggle to help others. His heart went out to her. He was impressed by her proposal and when the former Belcourt Retreat Centre become available he offered the building to Dianne. Excited and encouraged by this fortunate development she then established the Lennon Recovery House Association. Next, she formed a Board of Directors which is now in the process of opening Lennon House. Dianne has made the most painful experience of her life, the loss of a child, into a purpose. It is her hope that Lennon House will be a place where people who struggle just as Lennon did will find healing.
Lennon Recovery House Association Inc. (“LRHA Inc.” or “Lennon House”) was established in March 2017. It is incorporated under the PEI Companies Act, Part II as a non-profit organization. It is the first non-profit in Prince Edward Island to establish a client-centered recovery home of its kind. Lennon House is located in Rustico, PEI in the former Belcourt Centre. The location and programs meet the specific needs of persons living with and recovering from addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders. Specifically designed for those who, given the opportunity, can recover and thrive in a safe familial environment and in an atmosphere of daily living with others in the spirit of cooperation, respect, and creativity. Lennon Recovery House Association offers a number of mainstream therapies as well as holistic approaches to healing.
Lennon House is dedicated to supporting the recovery of individuals from addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. Lennon house will work at giving individuals new opportunities to live their life free from addiction, promote independence, encourage personal development and, most importantly, create hope.
The mission of Lennon Recovery House Association is: to provide a temporary home, in a caring, healing community for persons recovering from addictions and co-occurring mental health disorders; to foster a culture of self-respect and caring for each other in an atmosphere of compassion, responsibility, and accountability; to engage clients, staff, volunteers, and the local community in a holistic plan for healthy living.
For more information on Lennon Recovery House development Phases and Objectives, or to find out how you can get involved, contact us at 902-963-4029
The day-to-day management of the facility and activities of the home will be by the House Manager. Dianne Young has presently assumed the role and associated responsibilities of the House Manager. The day-to-day management of the overall operation will be the responsibility of the Resident Manager to be hired in the spring of 2019. It is planned that the first residents will be introduced to the facility in May 2019. Key client focused staff will be employed at that time. Additional employees will be hired on an increasing basis as the number of residents increases. It is projected that peer support worker will oversee up to 7 residents.
Management has determined that the general monthly rate to be charged for residents will be $2,000. This covers the lodging and food. Programming pricing will depend on the nature of the programs. Internal programs may be covered under the regular resident rate. Certain inside and outside programming may require separate pricing. The cost of medications for residents will not be handled by Lennon House staff nor flow through the Association’s bookkeeping but will be transacted directly between the resident (or their caregiver) and the provider. As a not-for-profit organization, the objective of the Association is to at least break-even financially each year and to ensure there are enough funds in the bank at any given time to ensure all financial needs can be met.
Participants over the age of 18 will follow programming, a crucial component of Lennon House which will aid in the treatment of the residents. It is management’s desire to partner with government and other not-for-profit organizations in Prince Edward Island to provide various programming to its residents. Programming is intended to be as diverse as possible and may include: understanding addictions, substance abuse and mental health; identifying paths to recovery; one-on-one counselling; group work; peer support; cognitive behavioural therapy; mindfulness practices; yoga classes; natural trail walks; exercise classes; gardening; music, art and volunteer work. There will be some reliance on utilizing the skills of volunteers in the community to provide classes and expertise, for example in gardening, art or music classes.
Application process: Residents are required to be referred by a medical physician or treatment center once detoxification has been completed. The Lennon House Recovery Program will consist of three phases:
Phase 1: Orientation (First 2 weeks) Orientation will allow both the Lennon House staff and the new residents an opportunity to determine which programs support the individual. All new residents will be paired with a peer support worker to guide and support them through the various programs. In this phase, there will be no outside communication with family or friends so that this time will allow the residents to focus on integration into Lennon House.
Phase 2: Active Treatment (3-6 months) The components of this phase will include group meetings such as AA, NA and SMART Recovery. Other therapies that will be included are life skills, education (including preparation for GED if needed), yoga therapy, garden therapy, emotion management, art and music therapy and animal therapy. The programs will address the specific needs of each individual resident. Every person is different and will progress through the programming at their own pace.
Phase 3: Community Integration (6-9 months, extending to 12 months if required) Residents will work on rebuilding family connections and prepare for transitioning back into their community. This phase involves searching for employment, housing and/or education, building recovery supports and developing community connections. Aftercare and relapse prevention are components of this phase. Peer support staff will help residents facilitate trips to local resource centers, government offices and medical appointments. Completion of Program A celebration for residents that have completed the programming at Lennon House will be held prior to transitioning back into the community. This event would be open to family and friends of the resident. Programming rules will include a strict prohibition of the following:
• The use and or possession of drugs and alcohol. Medications will be administered by staff only;
• Engaging in acts of physical or verbal violence;
• Any form of bullying;
• Engaging in sexual activity with other residents or staff while in treatment. There is to be no sexual contact with anyone on the property.
Additional policies and procedures will be explained to the residents during intake and assessment.
Lennon House will help individuals transition back into the community by supporting and assisting them with employment programs, education, housing, life skills and inter-personal relationships. Mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that residents have input into the operation of Lennon House and the effectiveness of the house arrangements and the programming.
Some specific programming might be group format held within the residence itself such as AA or NA meetings or Smart Recovery program meetings.
Other programming may be offsite. Lennon House will transport residents to those locations. For example, there is an existing “Expanding Your Reach” program in Stratford, Prince Edward Island, that is a group training program for youth aged 16-30 who are recovering from addition or mental health challenges. Prior to entering that program, participants must have successfully completed a treatment program or be receiving treatment. The program is funded by the Department of Rural and Regional Development (through the Employment Development Agency) and the Department of Workforce and Advanced Learning (through Canada- Prince Edward Island Labour Market Agreements). Examples of topics presented by the Reach Foundation include wood working and soap making.
Management is also looking at equine therapy which may be offered through horse stables in Prince Edward Island. Music therapy is another avenue management would like to pursue by partnering with an organization offering such services.
Management is anticipating that a vehicle to transport residents to offsite locations will be provided as a gift to the organization; therefore, the cost of purchasing a vehicle has not been included in the financial projections. It is expected that all program funding will be provided by the Departments of Family and Human Services or the Department of Health and Wellness, Mental Health and Addictions Services. Residents not covered under these funding arrangements would be expected to pay directly for the programming.
It is expected that all program funding will be provided by the Departments of Family and Human Services or the Department of Health and Wellness, Mental Health and Addictions Services. Residents not covered under these funding arrangements would be expected to pay directly for the programming.