BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services shared stories to spread awareness on International Overdose Awareness Day. Read this story and others about the innovative programs in place to support clients in their treatment and recovery.
Climbing to the top of Grouse Mountain is a grueling challenge that intimidates- but is also endured- by many locals in the Vancouver area. Often, recovery from mental health and addiction can feel like climbing an insurmountable mountain as well. At Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction (BCMHA), clients can view Grouse Mountain from outside our main doors- and in surrounding area. Many look up at the iconic Grouse Mountain, only imagining what the view would look like. On July 12th, 2016, four individuals from the BCMHA were able to conquer the feat of hiking the Grouse Grind , recording times of 51 minutes, 52 minutes, 58 minutes and 68 minutes respectively. Any Grouse Grind regular will tell you that these are impressive times for anyone and even more impressive for someone early in recovery.
To give some background, BCMHA treats people with severe mental illnesses and addictions from across the province. Many clients have complicated medical issues and histories of homelessness. During clients stay at the BCMHA, a wide variety of fitness programs are available for anyone looking to improve physical wellness. Programs offered include; Physiotherapy, yoga classes, nature walks, high intensity fitness groups and tailored exercise plans that will guide them towards their fitness goals in addition to - improving mental health and continuing with sobriety. If an individual is doing well in in both mental and physical recovery, hiking the Grouse Grind is an outing offered to them.
So what did some recent clients think about this outing?
For the purpose of confidentiality, participant quotes are anonymous and will be referenced not by their names but their Grouse Grind finishing times.
“A very humbling experience” (68 min)
“I was done and achieved a full hike at the ¼ mark” (68 min)
“Harder than I remember” (58 min) from a participant who did the hike years previous.
Once finished the Grind and taken back to the BCMHA it was evident that the experience was very uplifting for these individuals who mentioned things like:
“Fitness groups and outings like the grouse grind are my main motivators for staying in treatment” (68 min)
“Helped me realize if I put my mind to something I can accomplish anything” (52 min).
Other notable quotes from the Grouse Grind participants include:
“I quit smoking the same day I did the grouse grind. Because I realized how much I huffed and puffed during the hike” (52 min)
“I am Very happy with the fitness groups and the gym at BCMHA. I’m in the best shape of my life” (58 min)
“Great way to exercise mind and body, keeps me on a sober path” (52 min)
Now these individuals can say they accomplished the Grouse Grind and add it to their many completed goals at the BCMHA. The physical health habits they’re establishing while at BCMHA, hopefully in addition to improved self-esteem and confidence from achieving goals, are tools and skills they can put in their “backpack” for climbing “Mount Recovery” as well.