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Understanding Addictions - Through a New Lens❣️

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

There is no single formula for a healthy individual or community. But healthy communities are made up of healthy people. And, in order to thrive, people need to belong, and be an active part of a community. (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2021)

Today, I completed the Canadian Mental Health Association's Online Course, titled Understanding Addicti on. It's a course designed to help you explore your attitudes, knowledge, and skills on the topic of substance use and addiction and take a more active role in promoting healthy relationships and building supportive environments in your community.

✅ I challenge you to view this video (below) and not question your previously held beliefs and assumptions about addicts and addiction.

Do you know someone who can't bear to be present for life❓ Ask yourself:

Do they have someone that can count on in a crisis❓ Might that someone be you❓

If you were struggling and in the midst of depression, how might it feel if a helper turned to you and asked: How would you like your life to look like? Are there goals you'd like to achieve? What if you really took the time to listen with profound acceptance? We can build capacity of people to engage in healthy actions when we invest in relationships and provide affirmation.

Nurturing talk with open questions may help someone struggling with their mental health or substance use to consider the discrepancy between their life now and the life they want. This might create discord and a desire for change. As a helper, then you're better positioned to listen respectfully, cross cultural boundaries, provide accurate empathy, and support the individuals desire for change. Change, they desire. You're not the expert. Change starts with an assumption that people are the experts on themselves. With an active interest in understanding their inner world of private personal meaning, and believing the persons views are relevant and important, we can help draw them out and strengthen their internal readiness to change.

Partnership + Nurturing Change Talk = Supporting Change


Canadian Mental Health Association. (2021). Understanding addiction (Community social services). British Columbia, Mental health for all. Retrieved September 21, 2021, from


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