Lennon Recovery House Association Inc. in Rustico provides a temporary home atmosphere with a continuum of care for those with addiction and mental health issues, encouraging a long-term path to recovery.
“I am convinced that lives can be saved if proper supports are put in place.”
This quote has been part of Dianne Young’s values since a devastating life-altering experience she and her family had to face.
Seven years ago, Dianne’s son, Lennon, took his own life after struggling with addiction and mental health issues, at just 29 years old. Soon after, Dianne set out to be part of the solution, by opening a recovery home on PEI for those battling addictions and their mental health.
Dianne turned her painful loss into a passion to make care and recovery available to Islanders and provide a safe, reliable home for those ready to get their life back.
We are officially open, have welcomed our first group of residents, and are grateful to those who have helped us every step of the way: to volunteers, board members, our new staff, those who have donated, the Catholic Diocese, the Government, and everyone who has shared our passion for recovery.
This historic home initially opened in 1882 as a convent boarding and day school run by the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame. In 1932, it was destroyed by fire, but was quickly rebuilt to continue schooling for local residents.
After several transfers of ownership, the building was purchased by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlottetown and used as a retreat and renewal centre from 1981 through 2004. From 2004 through 2013, they continued to offer services to those in need of a homelike atmosphere.
Dianne, who is the Director of Lennon House, submitted a proposal to repurpose the building in hopes of beginning her dream to establish an addiction and recovery centre for those struggling as her son did. In October of 2017, Bishop Richard Grecco accepted Dianne’s proposal, and she handed him a loonie to close the sale.
“The province currently has one provincial addictions facility and three transitional housing facilities,” says Dianne. “While these facilities provide structured detoxification, rehabilitation, and transition support, long term, Lennon House is the only peer-based recovery home currently available on PEI.”
Each resident at Lennon House will be at different stages of recovery. We aim to provide support and programming, for a chance at a more productive, healthy, and content way of life, free of addiction. Holistic healing therapies, peer support staff, and group sessions, alongside the Living in Balance program, will contribute to successful healing for our residents.
“Living in Balance is an evidence-based recovery program that can be customized to the individual needs of those who suffer from addiction. Sessions are dedicated to serve those who also have co-occurring mental health disorders. This program is also used at the Island’s Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility.”
All Lennon House staff who work with residents will be trained on the fundamentals of the Living in Balance program.
The program has three modules covering core programming, recovery management, and co-occurring disorders. There are 47 sessions in total, and are tailored to each individual’s needs throughout treatment.
Meet the staff
Steve, House Manager, has been in recovery for 27 years, and has helped those struggling with addiction for many years. Steve attended Vancouver Community College, studying substance abuse, and worked with Choices Recovery House, as well as Team Challenge in Siberia, Russia. He also brings years of experience in Operational Management to our team.
Steve also plays in many local Island bands. “I am very humbled and honoured to be a part of this much needed resource, and look forward to many success stories as a result of the work done through Lennon House.”
Shannon, Office Administrator, says, “it has been a great experience working alongside Dianne as her Admin Assistant. Working behind the scenes to build a nonprofit organization from the ground up takes a tremendous amount of effort, and has caused me to draw on my many years of office administration experience as well as my faith. I am grateful to contribute to the success of seeing Lennon House open and operational. Guided by Dianne’s vision and passion, Lennon House provides supportive aftercare to individuals moving from a life of addiction to a life of recovery. It is awesome to be a part of it!”
Michelle, Program Facilitator, runs daily programs such as yoga, meditation, and Living in Balance. She brings over 20 years of experience, and has training and certification in several transformation methods that neutralize emotions, change limiting beliefs, and alter memory barriers, which will enhance the recovery process.
Training and certification includes: Mindset Alignment Process, Emotional Freedom Technique, Quantum Collapse Process, PsychK, Shadow Process, Focusing and Healing Touch, Yoga and Meditation.
“After losing several friends and family members to addiction, I made the choice to apply my passion, skills and training to be part of the solution. I’m happy to be part of this mission.”
Donovan is proud to have been chosen as the Fundraiser for Lennon Recovery House. “I am no stranger to addiction myself, having had an alcohol addiction from my early teens. It was a struggle to come to terms with my addiction, and even more so, to address it. It took me years to finally make a recovery plan and that’s when my journey really began.
“After I stopped drinking, I was forced to face my underlying mental health condition, which was actually the key to staying sober. I wish I would have had a place like Lennon House to turn to. It is a house full of peer support, a safe, non-judgmental place that focuses on the recovery of each person. I hope my time spent working here will put to use many of the skills I’ve learned over the years, both professionally and personally, in helping those in need. I was on a mission to find work that impacted the community in a meaningful way and I couldn’t be happier to have found Lennon House!”
Olivia is a Peer Support Worker. Those in this role at Lennon House use their own experiences with mental health challenges and/or addiction to be a helping hand for our residents on their road to recovery. Olivia has been passionate about mental health services and addictions recovery on PEI for many years, and is currently finishing her degree in Psychology at UPEI. She is thrilled to see a new support for those who are struggling available here on PEI, and hopes her experiences, as well as her education, can be put to great use.
“I struggled with my own mental health, and I needed a support system to help me through some pretty difficult things in my life,” says Olivia. “To be that support system and give the same love back to others who need it brings healing full circle. It’s about using our own experience and hardship to help others heal.”
Jenn, Peer Support Worker, has worked in the mental health and addictions field since graduating from the Child and Youth Care with Addictions Support Worker program in 2018. She has overcome her own issues with mental health, and continues to grow and learn. She is passionate about helping others, and is hoping that her own experiences and studies can help others in the future.
Trev, Peer Support Worker, says “I truly believe with love, loyalty, and respect, anything can be accomplished. I have witnessed miracles happen. I have an amazing wife, I’m a father of three children and two step-children, and we all have been impacted by the disease of addiction. I believe that Lennon House will be the place to change lives. I am grateful to be a part of this place of love, loyalty, and respect, a place where miracles will happen.”
Jolaine, Peer Support Worker, says she is “beyond thrilled” to be part of the support staff. “Lennon House has put together an incredible team!”
Five years ago, Jolaine worked in a rehabilitation centre for women in New Brunswick. Since arriving back to PEI, it has been her dream to give back what was so freely given to her. “I have seven years in recovery and I look forward to listening, encouraging, and supporting these beautiful women who we’ve been blessed with so far, and for those to come. My heart feels so grateful that we have this amazing, loving home for Islanders struggling with addictions and mental health.”
Shianne, Peer Support Worker, is 23 years old and lives with her partner of almost six years and their beautiful two year old daughter. “They’re both my world and bring a lot of happiness into my life. I’ve always had a strong desire to help others, and my interest in this specific field of work stems from experiencing first-hand the pain and heartache of substance abuse within a family.
“I know Lennon Recovery House will change many lives, and I am honoured to be a part of the team. I look forward to bringing a sensitivity and deep compassion to our staff team and hope for our residents to achieve full recovery.”
Ralph, Peer Support Worker, says, “as a biker I was taught trust, loyalty and respect. As a bouncer I was taught to display patience while remaining in control. As a banker I was taught logic, discernment and professionalism, and as a believer in the Lord I am being taught by the teacher Himself. At 65, Lennon Recovery House completes my purpose-driven life.”
Rose, Peer Support Worker, says, “I have always wanted to give back to others what I’ve been given so freely: sobriety. I was able to support, guide, and share my experience, strength, and hope during my 27 years of continuous sobriety, but never the opportunity to work in a recovery home – this has always been my dream. I’m feeling so blessed and thankful and can’t wait to start this new journey, new beginnings, and new challenges. God is great.”
Linda, Peer Support Worker, has been in recovery for 11 years, and was an active Board Member for the Lennon Recovery House Association for two years. She is a wellness practitioner utilizing modalities of Reiki, aroma touch therapy, and Quantum Hypnosis Healing, to name a few. She is also an artist and musician. “I am honoured to be able to give back some of the many beautiful gifts I have received in recovery,” says Linda.
Karly, Peer Support Worker, says, “for years, it’s been my dream to work in an addictions/mental health facility, as for most of my life I watched a number of my loved ones struggle with the disease of addiction. I also struggled with my mental health, but I am forever grateful to be able to use my knowledge to help, support, and guide the residents of Lennon House. I believe everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy, and sober life. I am so happy to be able to help Islanders achieve that.”
Sarah, Peer Support Worker, has always wanted to help individuals struggling with addictions and/or mental health issues. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Psychology from UPEI and is in the process of earning a degree in Counselling Psychology.
Sarah has worked with the John Howard Society helping individuals with life skills and reaching their potential. “Giving individuals the resources and support they need to overcome their personal obstacles and live a life free of addiction is what I find to be the most rewarding part of my role at Lennon House,” says Sarah.
For more information, visit www.lennonhouse.ca.
Submitted by Lennon Recovery House staff