Isuarsivik’s former guests are looking forward to accessing remote aftercare services
Back in March 2020, Isuarsivik Regional Recovery Centre’s Continued Care Services Department reacted quickly to the current pandemic by developing a Virtual Aftercare Project. This Project would allow guests who have completed the 42-days healing program to obtain remote post-treatment follow-up and support.
This project aims to enable the organization to scale up its regional impact and develop the overall continuum of care for its guests. Ultimately, this initiative shall improve the quality of care Isuarsivik strives to provide from a multi-level perspective. It is anticipated that pre-care and post-care will improve the recovery rates, and result in a better client experience.
During the summer, the team focused on research to find the best virtual platform given the region’s limited technology infrastructure and capacity as well as best practices and regulations regarding safety measures and protocols. They also shared knowledge with Wanaki Center, Walgwan, Innulicare, On the Wagon, Hasu Counselling and Northern Counselling and Therapeutic Services to better understand their virtual programming, their preferred platform, their challenges, their approach, and their response to safety and confidentiality.
To validate Isuarsivik’s findings and to assess the former guest’s challenges and needs after completing the inpatient program, the team ran an in-depth survey among Isuarsivik’s former guests. Close to 10% of 2017–2020 guests took part in the survey by phone. The results are very informative!
We learned, among other things that the main challenges that former guest’s face after completing treatment are the proximity of family members or friends who drink, and their cravings to consume. However, almost all former guests stated that they have better control over their substance use since attending the Isuarsivik program. Three former guests out of four believe their recovery journey would have been smoother if a continuum of care was provided by Isuarsivik, and almost all former guests stated they would be interested in accessing virtual care services from within their communities if and when these services become available.
The majority of the respondents also stated that they would feel more comfortable to speak on the phone with a counsellor rather than by videocall or chat messages. We are grateful to our former guests for taking the time to let us know about their experience after the inpatient program.
Those results will guide the Continued Care Services Department in the coming phases of the Virtual Aftercare Project in 2021 and 2022, which are the development of the virtual services, and their launching and assessment.