Accessing culturally-based mental health and addictions services on Manitoulin Island

MANITOULIN­­––Manitoulin Island is home to two unique facilities that utilize holistic culturally-based approaches to mental health and addiction treatment programs. Gwekmaadziwin Miikan, located in Aundeck Omni Kaning, has just opened its doors to their first clients on Monday, May 28, while Ngwaagan Gamig Recovery Centre (Rainbow Lodge) in Wiikwemkoong celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. To date, Rainbow Lodge has assisted more than 4,000 individuals and their families to deal with the challenges of addiction over the past 42 years.

The programs at the two facilities differ, however, both are dedicated to the delivery of culturally-based co-ed mental health services and addictions treatment and prevention programs as well as the utilization of modern and novel clinical methods.

Rainbow Lodge accepts applications for its residential or outpatient treatment program from males and females 18 years of age or over. Applicants can be self-referrals or referrals through social service workers, health agencies, community-based counselors or other community services.  Applicants should be determined to live a healthier way of life and be willing to follow Ngwaagan Gamig rules. It is preferred that clients have detoxified from alcohol or other substances and have been free of withdrawal symptoms for at least one month.

The intake process for Rainbow Lodge begins with the intake application (found on their website at www.ngwaagan.ca). Staff will schedule a telephone interview with the applicant. Additional information may be requested including copies of any legal conditions such as probation or bail orders. Screening is completed prior to approvals. Approved clients are placed on a waiting list until a bed becomes available. Clients are expected to continue preparing for residential treatment by participating in pre-treatment services.

For more information on Rainbow Lodge programs and the intake process, call 705-859-2324 or toll-free 1-877-649-2242. They may also be contacted by fax at 705-859-2325.

Intake for Gwekmaadziwin Miikan can be completed in person or over the phone. The facility accepts self-referrals or referrals by family members (with applicant’s consent), community workers, clinicians or other professionals. Applicants must be open to Anishinabek values and traditions. Applicants to the live-in aftercare or community aftercare programs must have completed treatment through Gwekwaadziwin’s land-based treatment program or at another facility within the previous six months and must be committed to recovery.

The intake application form and consent form can be found online at www.gwek.ca. The admissions coordinator can provide more information about the program by phone at 705-370-5307, by fax at 705-370-5308 or by email to info@gwek.ca.

The applications for both facilities ask for personal information in order to better understand the applicant’s situation and determine the suitability of the program for potential clients. All information provided is confidential.