Seaside Wellness Centre has closed its doors. The addictions and PTSD treatment facility for women located south of Powell River discharged its last clients over the weekend. Sunday night staff gathered at the centre for a small celebration and to say their farewells. All agreed, the centre had a great run!
In three years since opening, more than 100 women from all parts of Canada, and as far away as Eastern Europe, came to the centre to bravely face the fight of their lives.Some were very young and some were old enough to be mothers and grandmothers. They came from the helping professions, from the military and from neighbourhoods and families just like your own. Some had friends and relatives buoying them up and some came alone. Distraught or defiant, sad and broken, ready or unwilling, staff embraced them all. They worked together to help clients find wholeness again and to help bring joy back into their lives.
Seaside Wellness Centre was a vision of a local man, Dr. Jacques du Toit, who with his team of professionals supported a bio-psycho-social-spiritual approach to addictions and PTSD treatment. Daily programs included counselling, workshops, personal training, nutrition classes, life coaching and Equine Therapy. In between clients were offered morning walks and meditations, afternoon massages and challenging hikes, art classes, NA and AA meetings and career planning. Women who came to Seaside Wellness Centre were given the best. Unfortunately financing such an endeavour became too great a burden and the decision was made to close the centre by the end of January 2014.
There was a palpable air of sadness at the staff gathering as each employee remembered clients and their accomplishments. I left the potluck early while there were still people in the house and lights shining through the windows. Staff were laughing and leaning towards one another as I closed the door behind me. That’s the way I want to remember Seaside Wellness Centre for Women. As a vibrant, loving home full of inviting laughter and captivating conversation. With thanks to our employers, Deb and Jacques du Toit.