Alberta wilderness therapy program secures funding for future

An Alberta wilderness therapy program has secured the necessary funding to continue.

The Shunda Creek Treatment Centre, operating west of Rocky Mountain House, was facing closure by the end of this summer.

The site’s infrastructure — trailers for sleeping, showers and group space — are in poor condition and in need of replacement. The non-profit Enviros has been seeking approval from a lender to purchase a new site near its current location.

Alberta Health Services announced Thursday the organization had secured funding with the support of AHS and the province.

“We are absolutely thrilled that we will be able to continue providing this invaluable program, and that young Albertans will continue to benefit from this unique and important treatment,” Enviros CEO Hazel Bergen said in a news release.

“We are grateful for the support of AHS, the provincial government, and our alumni, staff and supporters who believe so strongly in this program.”

AHS leases the current location from Alberta Infrastructure. It also funds the 90-day program, which since 2009 has used wilderness programming —  including hiking, canoeing and rock climbing — as a means to treat addiction and mental health in men aged 18 to 24.

“Enviros Shunda Creek provides a proven, successful service to young Alberta men, and we are very happy that the program will be able to continue at a new location,” Sherie Allen, the AHS addiction and mental health senior operating officer for central zone, said in the release.

Former clients started a GoFundMe earlier this month to raise money for the camp’s future. As of Thursday afternoon, it has brought in around $27,000.

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