ROAD — an acronym for Recovery, Opportunity, Action, Development — offers a drop-in peer support group for individuals (16–29 years) dealing with mental health and/or substance abuse issues.
“One of the leading barriers young people face when they begin recovery is finding accessible care,” says Rebecca Taube, the Program Director and Lead Facilitator.
“These kids often get put on waiting lists for months, or sometimes years,” she adds, “and in some cases are told that they are unable to access help because there simply isn’t enough space for them. After a while, they give up, because they feel like no one cares.”
The program, which ROAD offers every Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. at the Church of the Incarnation Oakville, eliminates these barriers by offering all services on a drop-in basis. There are no waiting lists, registration or costs involved. New members can join at any time.
At ROAD, every member has some type of lived experience, whether its their own or through a loved one who is struggling. “Recovery is about connection,” says Rebecca. “Addiction and mental illness want us to disconnect and isolate, so it’s up to us to challenge that and connect with each other.”
When new members join, there are no questions asked. Members are encouraged to join, even if their needs are simple. To belong, you simply must walk through the doors.
The facilitators understand how hard recovery can be, so they strive to make the groups and services enjoyable and accessible. Outside of the Thursday night group, the facilitators are available on-call for the members.
“Sometimes people just need someone to talk to,” says Rebecca, “or sometimes they need support at a medical appointment, or a ride to a safe space.”
ROAD is committed to its members’ success and is proud to offer this unique all-inclusive service.
“We have to remember that having supportive family and friends is a privilege that not everyone has. Some people have no one to help them navigate this journey, and that’s where we come in. It’s our job to create solutions and offer a community for those who need it,” Rebecca explained.
Along with these services, ROAD also offers community events, workshops and sober social outings. “Step by step, we are making the road to recovery more accessible.”
The facilitators can be reached via phone or text at 289-439-6559, and weekly groups take place at the Church of the Incarnation, 1240 Old Abbey Lane, Oakville.
(This article resulted from a consultative effort of ROAD’s Rebecca Taube, Incarnation’s Rector, Michael Patterson and Niagara Anglican’s Editor Hollis Hiscock.)