By Esther Groen – Team Leader at the Vermilion Energy Family Centre,
This unique program is an intense, short-term service for families living in Calgary, and across the country. It is designed to improve the safety, functioning, and knowledge of families dealing with mental health concerns.
We opened the doors to our first family in June, and since then we have helped nine more, with many more scheduled in the coming months.
In this time, we have learned many things about what families are looking for in a treatment program and we are proud to provide a homey and comfortable environment for adults and children alike to work on complicated and often emotional issues.
But what exactly does this program do?
- Family support counsellors work closely with families struggling with mental health issues to develop goals and then work in an intensive environment over 3-6 days to provide strategies, encourage positive attachment, and use creative methods to promote positive family interaction.
- The program model focuses on the 5 primary areas of family interaction: Family Safety, Home Environment, Child Well-Being, and Parenting Capabilities.
Here’s what some of our families have to say about this program:
“Upon working with some community counselling resources, we discovered the program of Whole Family Treatment at Wood’s Homes. The team was excellent and swift at communicating with us and letting us know we were candidates. The team was co-operative and flexible in arranging the time for our family to attend the Vermilion Energy Family Centre.
“We were excited and eager to come to the centre and enjoy the comfortable and inviting facilities.
“The activities and the down-time were well planned, engaging for all, and many were specifically designed for our individual needs and interests. The team was kind, friendly, welcoming, and instilled a confidence that enabled our family to easily interact with them. Thank you very much.”
“We came because we, and our son, were in crisis mode. I have learned a lot about depression and how a mental illness affects the whole family, not just the individual. I’m going home knowing and believing that I can help my kids become functional adults. I will be consistent in my discipline and my kids will respect me for it in the long run.”
“We were a family in crisis. My daughter was removed from our home by police and was admitted to the hospital. She would not see us and very little information was provided to us during this time. We were questioning our parenting decisions. We knew we couldn’t bring her directly. Our time at the Vermilion Energy Family Centre was a ‘family-building’ event. The timeline project had us all talking about good times which we had forgotten about. It provided us a supportive environment to brainstorm as well as time to be together without phones, visitors, etc. Although there haven’t been huge improvements in my son’s engagements, there was some which was a start. It made us feel more confident as to what we are doing right and what we may need to address. I would recommend it to all, not just families in crisis!”
Wood’s Homes would like to thank all of the wonderful families who have allowed us into their lives in such an open and honest way. We look forward to helping many more families.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!
Wood’s Homes is a nationally accredited mental health centre – proudly helping communities for over 100 years. Learn more at woodshomes.ca.