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Digital solutions offer new ways to connect

During the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment centres, including Cedars, have been forced to reevaluate how they can continue to support their patients and alumni – safely and from a distance. And, while inpatient treatment is still essential and is continuing with rigorous safety protocols and testing in place, the past year has demonstrated that there is an opportunity to do some things differently. Conventional approaches to therapy dictate that in-person sessions should always be our first choice, but the pandemic has forced many to recognize the benefits of digital therapy solutions.
Digital solutions lower the barriers to attending therapy sessions – there’s no commuting involved, and it’s easier to fit a session into the natural rhythm of your day. We’re able to meet remotely with patients and alumni who live too far away or whose lives are too busy to attend in-person sessions, and when necessary, we’re can still meet “face-to-face” and provide support. And, for people uncomfortable in group settings, being able to attend a session from a familiar space can help relieve some of the pressure.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Cedars offered a number of digital therapy solutions, and we’re proud to have been able to expand and adapt to meet patient and alumni needs during this time – we’re excited about the future of digital therapy solutions.

Cedar Trails Alumni App
Since its launch, the Cedar Trails app has provided a safe place for Cedars alumni to find support, inspiration and education. In 2020, we saw alumni using the app more than ever, with twice as many logins than in the previous year.
But the Cedar Trails app isn’t only for Cedars alumni – this year, we expanded access to include a separate section for alumni’s families. We’re in the process of developing a section for our other recovery communities, including alumni from the Addiction Recovery Centre at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Estevan, Saskatchewan, a Cedars partner.

Learn more about the Cedar Trails app

Family Discovery Sessions
Originally delivered in person, the Cedars Discovery Program offers healing and practical tools to support families through recovery. After moving to a digital format at the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of families participating. By removing accommodation costs and shortening the length of the program, we’re able to continue hosting productive, engaging sessions and help more families access the insights and tools they need to create healthier, more balanced lifestyles.

Learn more about the Cedars Family Discovery Program

Recovery Coaching
We’ve also moved our recovery coaching program online to help alumni stay on track after inpatient treatment. In one-on-one digital sessions, alumni meet with a Cedars counsellor to talk about what aspects of the alumni’s return to regular life are going well, what they’re struggling with and what their strategy is to cope with those challenges. Acting as accountabila-buddies, Cedars counsellors stay in regular contact with alumni to ensure that they’re sticking to their strategy – and give them a loving hard time if they’re not.

For people struggling with addiction issues, the COVID-19 pandemic has made recovery management even more difficult. With digital solutions, alumni can safely and easily stay in contact with their recovery communities and lean on a network of peers and counsellors. Looking beyond the pandemic, digital solutions offer access to recovery services and tools that could help many more people rebuild and rediscover their lives.

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