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Mental Health and Addiction FAQs

While the road to addiction has many routes, mental health and addiction often go hand in hand. To help you better understand the link here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions that I get about the relationship between addiction and mental health.

How is Mental Health Related to Addiction?

Research shows that there is a significant amount of overlap between mental illness and substance use. One study found that 51% of participants with a lifelong mental illness also experienced substance abuse.

However, while the relationship between mental illness and substance abuse is clear, it is still not well understood why this link exists. Both mental illness and substance abuse may develop independently as a result of common risk factors, or one may lead to the other as a result of self-medication or prolonged mental distress.

What Types of Mental Illness Are Most Prominent at the Dream Center?

Our program participants fall along the entire mental health spectrum. However, of our participants that have a mental illness we have found that the most common disorders are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder)

What are Some of the Ways the Calgary Dream Centre Supports Clients Experiencing Mental Illness?

Every in-house program participant at the Calgary Dream Centre has their own case manager who works with the client to assess their individual needs. Depending on the client’s needs their case manager can refer them to the mental health clinician or an addictions counsellor for more in-depth support. During our treatment programs, participants can build up a toolkit of resources to help them overcome the challenges they may face both during and after their recovery. The Calgary Dream Centre also works collaboratively with a variety of external supports so that we can help our clients craft a holistic strategy to address their mental health needs.

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  • Chris Sciberras

    Written by Chris Sciberras

    Director of Program and Mental Health Clinician Chris is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with a Masters of Counselling from the University of Calgary and a Bachelors of Counselling from the Australian College of Applied Psychology. For the past decade, he has worked extensively with youth, adults, and families in a variety of capacities, with a focus on mental well-being and addiction recovery. Chris has served as the Mental Health Clinician and Program Director at the Calgary Dream Centre since 2017. Prior to joining the Dream Centre, Chris worked in the school system as a Mental Health Counsellor. Chris is passionate about supporting clients at the Dream Centre and helping them along their path of recovery. Chris is originally from Australia, has travelled to over 30 countries, and now happily calls Calgary home.

    More Articles by Chris Sciberras

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