Panel – Gaps and challenges to providing ROSC services in diverse populations

Recovery Through Diveristy

April 12th 2022 11:30 am Nelson Room 3

Session Description

The stigma attached to Addiction is a huge barrier when it comes to finding and accepting the supports to recover from this family disease. A larger barrier is found in the South Asian community where being an addict or an alcoholic is looked down upon and sometimes hidden by not only the person affected but also the family. Drinking is a widely accepted part of the functions throughout the year in the community and the behaviour that comes along with it as well. Multi-day open bar wedding celebrations, birthday parties etc. sometimes leading to drug use which is kept a secret and sometimes goes unnoticed or ignored until the lives of the affected and their families start to unravel. What are the supports available and how have these been used by the panellists and how can these be used by the community will be discussed. As well as different approaches to recovery such as 12 step and holistic treatments.

Often, a good therapeutic relationship can be a catalyst for change. I am a Registered Provisional Psychologist and the Counselling Program Lead at Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS) Calgary. I completed my Masters’ program in psychology from Yorkville University. I have had the opportunity to provide individual, couples, family, and group counselling where we try to meet the individual at the level that they are at. A holistic and client centered approach is what we focus on. I have been working with the organization since 2017 and have had an opportunity to work within various programs including Mental Health, Addictions, and Family Enhancement. It has been interesting to note the group dynamics and the different paths that these individuals come from when providing individual and group counselling to clients experiencing addiction. It is a pleasure working with the South Asian community where everyday is an opportunity to learn. Focusing on the unique strengths that each individual brings to the session is what I always look forward to. It is a pleasure to be part of the Recovery discussion panel.

Learning Objective

-To share the Panelists Experience, Strength and Hope in relation to recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of body and mind.
-Availability and use of community supports to help achieve lasting sobriety.
-Explaining the stigma attached to addiction in ethnic groups and how those barriers are being broken down.

Bios

Robby Sidhu, a person in long term Recovery since February 22, 2017 was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and is the Recovery Advocacy Manager at Fresh Start Recovery Centre as well as an Alumnus. His journey balancing his east Indian heritage while growing up in western society played a huge factor in finding Recovery. The shame attached to addiction in the South Asian culture had him wearing 2 masks in addiction as well as in early recovery. These days he is a big supporter of breaking down the stigma attached to being an addict or alcoholic. Throughout the year he is heavily involved in helping plan different events all in hopes of bringing our Recovery community, Families and
Community at large back together . We have heard time and time again the opposite of addiction is connection and that’s a huge piece that has been missing for over the pandemic. He currently serves on different 12 step fellowship committees as well as the Recovery Day and wellness walk committees.

Harman Batth (Sidhu)-
Counselling Program Lead
Often, a good therapeutic relationship can be a catalyst for change. I am a Registered Provisional
Psychologist and the Counselling Program Lead at Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS)
Calgary. I completed my Masters’ program in psychology from Yorkville University. I have had
the opportunity to provide individual, couples, family, and group counselling where we try to
meet the individual at the level that they are at. A holistic and client centered approach is what
we focus on. I have been working with the organization since 2017 and have had an opportunity
to work within various programs including Mental Health, Addictions, and Family Enhancement.
It has been interesting to note the group dynamics and the different paths that these individuals
come from when providing individual and group counselling to clients experiencing addiction. It
is a pleasure working with the South Asian community where everyday is an opportunity to
learn. Focusing on the unique strengths that each individual brings to the session is what I always
look forward to. It is a pleasure to be part of the Recovery discussion panel.

Ganesh Alagh- Was born In Mumbai, India and struggled with addiction most of his adult life. Growing up his father was addicted to heroin so he was raised by his mother and grandfather. He finished high school and continued into schooling for hotel management where he was eventually let go due to his addiction. In 2010 he came to Canada through arranged marriage and continued using drugs and alcohol even while caring for his young child. Him and his family kept his addiction hidden for a very long and faced with losing his family and his home he tried to get sober on his own but could not succeed. Eventually he used the supports in the community to find Simon House Recovery Centre and going through the 12 steps found freedom from bondage. He is now a loving father and husband working full time in the hospitality in