Ledgehill’s
Mental Health Services

More than half of the individuals who seek help for addiction also have significant mental health challenges.

When a person is struggling with both addiction and mental health, it is referred to as having a concurrent disorder or co-occurring disorder.

A person with a mental health disorder is twice as likely to have a co-occurring substance use problem as the average person.

This can become complicated when you consider that different substances have very different chemical compositions.

When they interact with each other, they can profoundly influence how effectively the brain works with respect to decision-making, self-control, and compulsion.

Ledgehill delivers an integrated approach to recovery.

In the past, the treatment for addiction and mental health was highly compartmentalized. As a result, clients were either directed towards programs that were mental health-focused or addiction-focused.

Current research emphasizes that treating these two challenges together yields much better results.

To address the needs of our patients with co-occurring disorders, we have developed a program that equally focuses on addiction and mental health.

While not a complete list, co-occurring disorders we treat include:

Substance Abuse

  • Alcohol
  • ‘Street drugs’: cocaine, heroin, meth, etc.
  • Opiate prescription drugs: Percocet, Oxycontin
  • Marijuana
  • Benzodiazepines: Valium, Xanax, Ativan, and other tranquilizers
  • Hallucinogens: LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and other dissociative drugs

Mental Health Disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder or operational stress injury
  • Depression, bi-polar, and other mood disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and other anxiety disorders
  • Conduct disorders
  • Attention deficit disorder
  • Personality disorders

 canWhen a person with addiction has a co-occurring disorder, in many cases, they use drugs or alcohol to cope with feelings of sadness, anxiety, stress, or trauma.

The combination of two separate serious issues generally compounds and masks, making treatment of both more difficult.

For people suffering from a co-occurring disorder, unless addiction treatment is combined with treatment for the mental health challenge, recovery is unlikely.

For example, research has identified the relationship between anxiety and addiction. In at least 75% of people with both an anxiety disorder and a substance dependence, the anxiety disorder developed first.

Anxiety disorders resulting from substance use appear to be relatively rare: in people with both an anxiety disorder and a substance use disorder. Therefore, treating one without addressing the other leads to poorer short-term outcomes and a high risk of relapse.

At Ledgehill, we recognize the importance of treating both addiction and mental health conditions together.

Our professional, experienced, highly trained team delivers an integrated recovery program designed for individual needs.

For those struggling with PTSD/trauma they will go through the following stages: 

Stage 1: Detox and Assessment

In the first week after a client has detoxed, the counsellor does an informal assessment followed by a formal assessment which includes several psychological tests. These assessments are used for clinical purposes while the client is at Ledgehill. The assessment is then used to build an individually designed program.

The only clients not appropriate for Ledgehill are those with psychosis or severe mental health problem who are not stabilized enough for treatment or who have active suicide ideation.

Stage 2: Stabilization

The stabilization process can often take several weeks.

The program primarily focuses on Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills training, which helps patients recognize and tolerate their emotions as well as interpersonal effectiveness skills and CBT.

In addition, clients work with psycho-educational groups daily, have individual therapy sessions and attend group therapy sessions every week.

Stage 3: Integration into general programming

Because it is a concurrent program, integration happens as soon as the client is able, usually within the first week. This helps them connect with other clients and still keep their individualized program. 

We have extensive psychoeducation sessions on mental health issues, addiction and recovery 5 days a week.

Stage 4: Processing the Trauma

Direct PTSD work is done individually using Cognitive Processing Therapy.

Exactly when the direct therapy on the PTSD origins begins will depend on the client’s readiness and success with the DBT training.

To process the trauma, the therapist will focus on thinking through parts of the trauma memory.

The therapist may ask a client to write a description of the trauma (called a trauma account). Writing and re-reading this trauma account helps many people connect with feelings about the trauma and identify stuck points created by the event.

During therapy, the client learns to challenge thoughts about the trauma and identify themes within it.

Typically, these themes are safety, trust, power and control, esteem, and intimacy.

Stage 5: Transition Planning

The final part of the program will be the transition from the facility.

Ongoing process group therapy focusing on transition is a part of the program.

Within the last month of the client’s stay, individual aftercare planning begins.

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