“Our job as a private treatment center is to eliminate as many hoops as we possibly can.”

Jacqueline Hoffman, CEO and co-owner of Prairie Sky Recovery Centre, is working hard to get the word out about their 21-day Emotional Health & Wellness Program.

This program was created as a standalone service ever since Prairie Sky Recovery Centre, an addictions treatment and mental health recovery centre, began receiving increasing requests for support from those who did not have an addiction. These were people who suffered mental health challenges including anxiety, depression, burnout, and grief.

While Prairie Sky Recovery Centre is not a medical facility, they do offer a safe and serene retreat for people to focus on their emotional and mental health outside of the typical hospital setting. Clients are given the tools and time to reflect and refocus on their mental & emotional health. Professional supports include onsite counselling and support services, individual counselling, and weekly therapeutic counselling with a clinical counselor.

“Almost anybody who is suffering from any kind of mental health issues could benefit from this program,” Hoffman adds. “Specifically, the spouses and family members of the people who are attending our addictions recovery programs. I say this because, oftentimes when you have an addict or an alcoholic in the home, there’s a lot of chaos and resentment. Abuse and trauma can also ensue from active addiction. The focus is always on trying to get help for the person with the substance use disorder, and the family members are left in the wind. This program can really help spouses and family members move through some of what’s happened to them through their loved one’s active addiction.”

Program content includes self-esteem, grief, loss, mindfulness, shame, boundaries, negative core beliefs, and distorted thinking, to name a few. Additional modules cover anger management, sexual abuse and/or trauma, and intimate partner violence. Hoffman acknowledges that many mental health issues frequently have roots in negative patterns created and established early on in life, and continue throughout the teen development years.

A large part of the program is emotional identification. Many clients feel anger, without understanding that that anger might have a deeper cause, such as grief or anxiety.

“We help them start to take it apart, and really take a look at what emotions are behind their behaviors and actions,” Hoffman shares.

As most of their services revolve around addiction recovery, Hoffman eagerly emphasizes the connection between mental health and addiction.

“You don’t have addictions without mental health issues. People often use drugs and alcohol to cope with something- social anxiety, injury, abuse, whatever it is. But we cannot address the addiction without first looking at the mental health aspect.”

Many mental health and addictions issue in Canada are viewed as medical situations, and therefore dealt with via hospitalization. While hospitalization can be necessary for many people, Hoffman stresses that it is not an option for many, due to a lack of hospital beds and doctors. Outcomes can be greater when you apply a combination of medication and counseling in a supportive, home-like environment. She remarks that intensive therapy is usually only given once a person has been hospitalized, and even then, they might only get to see a psychiatrist or psychologist once during the course of their hospital stay.

“Think of the Emotional Health & Wellness Program as hyper-focused counseling,” Hoffman explains. “With regular counseling, usually you only have sessions once or twice every few weeks. This is three dedicated weeks of counseling, six to seven hours per day, 21 days straight. It’s the difference between going to university full time and taking online courses in the evenings- you’re going to have a different outcome.”

Hoffman notes that one program goal is to move through limitations, ones that clients often don’t realized are tied together. She and her staff help people identify patterns, behaviors, tipping points, hidden traumas, and subsequent coping mechanisms.

All this being said, many people still shy away at the first mention of “private facilities”.

“Often when people are looking at private care they think ‘oh, I’m never going to be able to afford this.’ But a lot of what we offer is covered by insurance, whether third party or through your employer,” Hoffman adds. “So please don’t be intimated by the fact that we’re private.”

All of Prairie Sky Recovery Centre’s programs are self-referred- there is no need for a counsellor or doctor’s referral. For more information, call 1-888-519-4445, email contactpsr@prairieskyrecovery.ca, or visit https://prairieskyrecovery.ca/programs.

“We’ll work around your schedule to get you in.”

Jacqueline Hoffman and Prairie Sky Recovery hold the prestigious CBC Future 40 Award (2018) and the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethical Business Practices (2018). They were also finalists for the ABEX Award (2018, 2019) and the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award (2021), an initiative of Women of Influence.