PEI

'It is possible to get well': Addictions forum Tuesday in Charlottetown

A P.E.I. woman, who has had her own struggles with addictions, is hosting a forum to let people know that help is available, as well as explore what gaps there are in the system.

‘There should always be a hand there’

People need to know where to get help, says Ellen Taylor. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

A P.E.I. woman, who has had her own struggles with addictions, is hosting a forum to let people know that help is available, as well as explore what gaps there are in the system.

The panel will include three people in recovery along with Lisa Tebow, the head administrator for Addictions East.

"It's not, definitely not all negative," Ellen Taylor said of the idea behind the forum.

"You can recover from [addiction] and people aren't hopeless, and it is possible to get well on P.E.I."

The forum is meant to help people understand what supports are in place, said Taylor. The people in recovery will talk about their experience of navigating the system.

Significant stigma

Taylor believes there needs to be better communication about how to find help.

 She said part of the trouble is there is still a significant stigma about having mental illness, and that means people talk about it less.

The system isn't perfect, she said, and lately she's been hearing from people that it can be difficult to get into a detox bed.

"When the hand is reaching out for help, there should always be a hand there," she said.

A need for hope

Taylor said it took her 12 years to get sober. She had support from a lot of people in her life and good experiences in the mental-health system.

"Some people don't have that luck. And I know that some people just kind of give up. Or family members are like, I'm done, it's been 10 years," said Taylor.

"There always needs to be hope and I just hope that this can kind of give people hope."

The Call to Action forum is Tuesday at The Guild in Charlottetown, starting at 7 p.m.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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