CARLYLE - Tyler Matthewson and Dustin Boutin both know what it is like to have an addiction, as they struggled with drug and alcohol abuse.
Matthewson has been clean from drugs and alcohol for nine years. He admits it was a difficult road to be on to heal, but one that is worthwhile to take, or he would not be here today.
His parents, Gilles and Nancy Matthewson, wanted nothing more than for their son to get the help that would save his life.
It became a life-or-death situation for the young man, but he said he needed to see this for himself and finally he did.
His parents sent him to a private rehabilitation centre in B.C., where he received the much-needed help that was required for him to become clean.
Nine years later, he enjoys life. He has been with the love of his life, Kelsie Mund, for 7 1/2 years and they are expecting their first child.
Boutin’s parents, Paul and Robin, only wanted their son to get help before it was too late.
Boutin said he was in and out of treatment and relapsed over and over again, until one night he had a horrific experience and finally saw the need to get help, which changed his path in life.
“Nothing you say or do will make a person sober, if they don’t want to be,” said Boutin.
Boutin has been clean for four years and continues to move forward with his life in a positive way.
Last year Matthewson and Boutin wanted to bring awareness to mental health, not only when it comes to addictions but also for nurses, firefighters, police and for everyone else who struggles.
They hosted their first event for mental health last year and it was a remarkable success. They did not plan to make money, just to bring awareness, and were prepared to pay for any shortfalls, but that was not necessary.
The money raised was sent to the Canadian Mental Health Association in Regina.
On Nov. 5, the pair held their second event for mental health awareness at the Carlyle Hall.
Although the weather was not great and road conditions deteriorated, they had a crowd of 135 people. Supporters from Oxbow, Regina and even Texas came out to back the young men in their cause.
Rylan and Cindy Weir catered the meal and once the supper was completed, Matthewson and Boutin took the stage.
Matthewson and Boutin do not rehearse a speech; they simply speak from the heart on the paths they have been down and the ones they are on now.
The guest speaker was Morgan Wasylyk who is a life coach for mental health.
“It was so quiet in the room when Wasylyk spoke, one could have heard a pin drop,” said Boutin.
The money this year will remain in the southeast. Boutin and Matthewson feel there is not enough help and resources in this area for those with mental health issues.
An auction was also held that generated funds, and there were donations from people in the area.
Matthewson and Boutin feel lucky and blessed to have had the much-needed support. They ask people to never be afraid to tell someone they need to talk, it just may save your life or someone else’s.