June 16th, 2024

Indigenous Recovery Coach Program welcomes new director


By Tim Kalinowski on May 27, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

The Aapai’tsi’taappii’saam Indigenous Recovery Coach Program recently welcomed Germain Wells as its new program director, and she is looking forward to getting on with the work of helping Indigenous people in the region recover from addiction through ongoing peer support and traditional healing practices.
“We are a peer supported, community based and culturally informed recovery coach program,” Wells explains. “We support adults undergoing opioid agonist therapy for opioid addiction in Lethbridge. We combine one on one community based management practices with culturally focused healing and behaviour relapse prevention.
“This is a really needed program to assist the clients at every stage of recovery,” she adds. “This is to make sure they succeed through the whole process.”
Recovery coaches are increasingly used to try to bridge the gaps between treatment and recovery, and recovery and reintegration into the community in the form of after care, but Aapai’tsi’taappii’ssam, which has been operating out of Lethbridge since 2017, really focuses on holistic healing for their clients, says Wells.
“A lot of healing from the underlying trauma that has started the addiction stems from a Indian residential school trauma, a generational cycle- so adding the cultural component to (assist) the clients in their journey to recovery really helps on that spiritual journey,” she explains. “That returning to our own ways, and using that to heal and move forward.”
Wells says the experience of her recovery coaches is an asset to the whole Indigenous community within Lethbridge, at Blood Tribe, and beyond.
“Every one of my team members deserves recognition for the work they have put in these years,” she says. “It’s amazing, and my team is amazing.”

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