Fighting the stigma

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September 17, 2015 8:15 AM

Josef Jacobson Photo Flanked by staff from the Walter A. Thorpe Recovery Centre, Mayor Rob Saunders proclaimed September to be Addiction Recovery Awareness Month in Lloydminster.

On Sept. 10, Mayor Rob Saunders proclaimed September to be Addiction Recovery Awareness Month in Lloydminster.

“Addiction is a disease impacting individuals, families and communities here in Lloydminster and across Canada. In its many forms, addiction inflicts harm to one’s biological, social, spiritual, and psychological wellbeing,” he said, reading from the proclamation.

“Those who live in sobriety do so one day at a time, and through conscious decision-making and support, are able to guide themselves through a life of recovery. Overcoming any addiction is an incredible achievement that requires change, courage and perseverance. Unfortunately, many are reluctant to openly wear this badge of honour.”

He went on to mention that stigmas around discussing addiction and mental health are preventing those who recover from those conditions and find sobriety from speaking out. Even those who are in recovery can feel disinclined to share their stories and help others, he said.

“Addiction Recovery Awareness Month provides us with the opportunity to offer education on addiction and to celebrate each person and family who lives in recovery today. It is through this that we can end the stigma and save lives,” Saunders said.

During the signing of the proclamation, Saunders was joined by representatives from the Walter A. Thorpe Recovery Centre

“On behalf of the Thorpe Recovery Centre we do want to thank you for declaring September as Addiction Recovery Awareness Month,” said Sarah Cawsey, business development assistant at the Thorpe Centre.

“It’s through this that we really hope that more conversations can be held about recovery and addiction and we can end the stigma.”

Earlier at the Sept. 8 council meeting, Saunders had proclaimed Sept. 10 to be World Suicide Prevention Day in Lloydminster. Saunders says these proclamation help draw attention to issues which people may be uncomfortable discussing, like suicide and addiction.

“We’re trying to break down those barriers,” he said of the stigma.

“I think there’s a minority voice that may not be heard, so if the city can lend its voice to proclaim awareness around a day or a month specific to helping people and saving lives, our council and the City of Lloydminster are very pleased to do that.”

The Thorpe Recovery Centre is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month. The anniversary luncheon takes place on Sept. 19 at the facility and will include an address by national sports broadcaster Scott Oake, who lost a son to a drug overdose.

Admission is $25 and tickets are available at Cliff Rose for Clothes, Verses bookstore and at the facility itself.

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