Addictions Consulting

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Addiction is not about how much or how often; it’s about what we do instead of facing ourselves. Ross works with organizations to develop approaches to addictions treatment that are holistic, integrative, and effective. His particular focus is on the continuum of challenges that begin in early childhood, accelerate during the vulnerable adolescent period, and manifest in adulthood as mental health and addictions issues.

Recent Initiatives

Clinical Supervision

Ross is the clinical supervisor for Turning Point Recovery Society, the largest licensed addictions recovery organization in British Columbia. Ross provides clinical consultation for support staff, counsellors, site managers, administrators, and the Executive Director. He also provides professional development training for the staff, works with the team to deal with critical incidents, and provides training on a wide range of themes including ethics, professional practice, organizational development, leadership, and strategic planning.

Ross also coordinates Turning Point’s various research projects, which currently focus on opioid safety, homelessness support, therapeutic writing, and the uses of nature in therapeutic programs (see below).

Parent, School, and Community Presentations

Ross often provides presentations to educators, parents, and community groups on the challenges associated with addictions and effective approaches in health and healing. Please see the 2017 and 2016 project pages for more information.

Innovations in Addiction Recovery

The landscape of addictions recovery is evolving rapidly. New norms and best practices are emerging, new innovations are shaping service delivery, and the field is undergoing a broad renewal. These changes are taking place within a context of increasing urgency, as overdose deaths are on the rise and a paucity of treatment options adds new challenges for those seeking help. In response to this urgency and change, Ross works with various organizations to explore solutions and innovations for addictions recovery. A selection of these partnerships is shown below.

Storeys

To help meet the needs of those in Richmond who are vulnerable and in need of need safe and secure housing, Turning Point led a team of five community-based, non-profit social service providers to build Storeys, a collaborative housing initiative that is the first of its kind in Canada.

Storeys provides housing units and programmed support for individuals, families, and seniors. With a community garden, employment training, and views that extend over Lulu Island from the Georgia Strait to the North Shore mountains, Turning Point provides six bachelor and four one-bedroom furnished units available to graduates of our residential support recovery houses. Residents attend Turning Point programming on site and work closely with staff to further their recovery.

In partnership with Coast Mental Health, Pathways Clubhouse, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., and Tikva Housing Society, Turning Point was the project lead in making Storeys a reality. Ross is proud to be part of a collaboration that represents such an innovative and supportive solution to address homelessness and poverty in Richmond.

Naloxone safety

Our group of Turning Point staff and UBC Nursing students worked with a broad network of health partners (Vancouver Coastal Health, Mental Health and Addictions Services, Heartwood Centre for Women, etc.) to develop policy and practice for a new service through which clients at Turning Point will receive education about Naloxone and will receive a Naloxone safety kit upon discharge. This pilot project was the model for other social service agencies in helping to address the ongoing crisis of overdose deaths in British Columbia.

Outdoor Curriculum

Our group of Turning Point staff, UBC Nursing students, volunteers, and clients has been working with Trails Carolina, one of the world’s leading wilderness therapy programs to develop policy and practice for the fastest-growing innovation in addictions recovery: the use of the natural environment as a context for health and healing. Outdoor and wilderness services for mental health and addictions recovery are in their infancy in BC. Shared standards and practices do not yet exist. To deal with this challenge, our group has begun to map out a program of outdoor experiences that is research-based, ethical, safe, and useful.

Therapeutic Writing

Our group of Turning Point staff, UBC Nursing students, volunteers, and clients has developed innovative services for expressive arts and narrative healing modalities. Storytelling and writing as healing practices are currently undergoing a renewal in which older, more formalized methods are being replaced by innovations and contemporary best practices in trauma healing. Turning Point is one of the first addictions recovery program in British Columbia to employ these new methods.

A Shared Responsibility

The above projects represent unique and diverse partnerships between academic institutions, community-based programs, and a broad network of partners that includes professionals, students, and clients. These projects are innovative and proactive responses to an increasingly challenging landscape of mental health and addictions services.

One of our aims in working with community partners on these initiatives is to provide pathways for other service or programs, to offer insight about challenges and discoveries, and to provide a context for how others might apply innovative ideas.

NOTE: Feel free to get in touch with Ross directly for further details about any of these projects.


Other Projects

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Nature Experience

Facilitating Relationships with Nature

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Trauma Healing at the 911 Museum

Working with 911 survivors