KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – I don’t often ask for help for an individual on this site, but in this case I am making an exception.
When her daughter Shanelle was ready to get help with her addiction, Annie Clair turned to the New Brunswick health system, figuring that somebody there would be able to help.
No such luck. Finding help for persons living with addictions is hard, and being Indigenous makes it so much harder again.
Now Shanelle is in a private non-profit treatment centre in British Columbia that works with local elders, and Annie Clair is looking for financial help paying for travel costs and further treatment down the road.
This is what happened.
After being admitted for a month into a psychiatric ward after a drug induced psychosis, Shanelle was abruptly released after just a few days.
“She was released on a Friday night with two bottles of anti-psychotic pills that clearly state that suicidal tendencies are a side effect. She was released without a discharge or plan for continuum. I was not informed until she was discharged that night,” writes Annie Clair.
“Shanelle was released in hospital slippers, shorts and T-shirt and given a slip for a taxi to the closest homeless shelter, Clair says. “My sister and my friend who is a recovery coach and I searched the streets of Moncton until midnight before we found Shanelle. I tried to keep her with me, but within 4-5 days, my daughter had relapsed and was again in full psychosis. Addiction is a mental health issue, not a lack of willpower or moral deficiency.”
A second time around she stayed in the ward for a week.
When Shanelle said she was ready to seek treatment, there was no support to be found in New Brunswick. Annie and Shanelle, with unwavering help from Elsipogtog chief Aaron Sock, managed to find a spot in the British Columbia rehab.
Annie is now in self isolation, having just returned from the trip to BC that took Shanelle to the centre.
I have known Annie for a while now. We both reported for the Halifax Media Co-op, where, among other things, she produced and hosted Pjilasi Mi’kma’ki, the first bilingual Mi’kmaq/English podcast ever, and tackled issues such as the sixties scoop, treaties, the reserve system, the importance of keeping the Mi’kmaw language alive and many more. You should check it out, it was very well done.
During her time in Halifax Annie made many friends. They will all tell you that Annie is a loving mother and a wonderful person. Annie and Shanelle need all the help we can give them.
Visit the GoFundMe page here, or e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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