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Programming changes at Prairie Sky Recovery Centre

Residents of the centre can opt out of addiction recovery counselling, focusing on mental health.

LEIPZIG – As Mental Health Week approaches, Prairie Sky Recovery Centre has announced changes to the residential mental health program.

CEO Jacqueline Hoffman sat down with to explain the changes to the current program.

“Our residents were receiving equal parts of counselling in addictions recovery and mental health throughout their stay. Over the years, we have seen that more of our residents have more of a need for the mental health portion of the program than the addictions portion, therefore we have altered the program to accommodate these needs,” she said.

This means residents who do not have an addiction can still receive the help they need at a mental health level. Residents who are over the age of 18 are eligible for the mental health program, while the addiction portion of the program is available for those over 21 years old. The program is on a continuous basis as residents are admitted. The program is meant to be flexible for each resident as they evolve through the program.

“We will work with residents who may only need a week or two in the program or, if they feel they need more time to work things out, we will extend the stay,” said Hoffman.

As a private facility, there is no coverage through the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Hoffman did say employers who provide private insurance coverage have received more recognition in the past 10 years, especially since the pandemic.

“Employers are seeing how staff are burning out and their mental health is affected by it,” she added.

At the time of the interview, Hoffman did say 23 of the 32 beds were occupied, with all eight female beds at capacity.

“The demographic of our residents fluctuates between men and women, however more men ages 30 to 50 have been through our doors. They are men who are married, with children and have recovery capital,” she explained. Recovery capital is when one has not lost everything they have, such as a family, a home, a job or all income.

Male and female residents are housed separately to ensure the safety of everyone there. The Prairie Sky Recovery Centre also employs 27 staff in various areas of expertise including counsellors, support staff, outreach and intake. There are also contracted staff through programs such as Aspire2, Indigenous social workers, life coaches, peer counsellors and social workers.

The facility has a no-abuse policy along with zero tolerance for substances and alcohol. Residents are expected to fully participate in the program, including the mandatory activities that have been put into place.

“We try not to expel residents; for some being in recovery is punishment enough. We do have a high retention rate and, based on our 2023 statistics, 84 per cent of our clients complete their program,” said Hoffman.

Prairie Sky Recovery Centre was originally named Leipzig Serenity Retreat by founder Ardyth Wilson, Hoffman’s mother, in 2008. Wilson had suffered from her battle with addiction and saw the benefit of having a safe place to receive treatment. Later, in 2016, the centre was rebranded to Prairie Sky Recovery Centre.

“We used to get lots of calls from those who thought we were a spa or didn’t know where Leipzig was,” said Hoffman.

While the centre was handed down from mother to daughter, other family members work throughout the building. Hoffman’s sister, who has a background in social work, also works at Prairie Sky along with other extended family members.

For those who are interested in the programs available at Prairie Sky Recovery Centre, contact Jacqueline Hoffman at 306-658-4767.