Vancouver’s Elizabeth Fry Society has created over 20 programs that assist women with substance abuse and mental health treatment, reintegration following incarceration and accessing stable housing. Elizabeth Fry has been in operation for over 70 years; for the last 15, its Ellendale program has provided women with 90-day residential substance abuse treatment.
Elizabeth Fry was born in England in the late 1700s and was an effective advocate for the improvement of women’s prisons and mental health treatment—and she was a role model to none other than Florence Nightingale. The Elizabeth Fry Society was one of the first programs in Canada to offer gender-specific programming to women in the criminal justice system. It continues to evolve its programs to meet the needs of marginalized women, girls and children so that they may break the cycles of addiction and incarceration.
Accommodations and Food
The Ellendale residence is located in Surrey, about 40 kilometers southeast of Vancouver. Up to 22 residents are assigned single rooms and private bathrooms. The home has a common living room with a TV, a reading area and a computer station. There’s also a separate dining room where residents eat. The kitchen has its own restaurant license, and an on-site cook creates meals that take residents’ allergies, restrictions and preferences into account.
Treatment and Staff
Clients in need of detox must do it in another facility before arriving at Ellendale. Ellendale does, however, accept clients receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction, and is one of the first facilities in the area to do so.
Once in treatment, residents attend an average of three treatment groups each day. Groups are primarily psychoeducational but there is also group therapy for processing emotional challenges. Therapy uses Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and CBT to help clients learn anger management and relapse prevention skills. Clients also meet with primary counselors for individual therapy at least once a week.
The treatment team at Ellendale includes an on-site clinical counselor and a nurse practitioner who can administer medication and prescriptions. Clients in need of dual diagnosis support must obtain a counselor at a nearby mental health facility. While Ellendale does help clients connect with these specialists, clients are encouraged to take an active role in choosing a clinician they’ll continue to see after their residential treatment plan ends.
Clients are also encouraged to attend SMART Recovery or AA/NA meetings several times each week in the neighborhood. Additionally, clients have access to case managers who can assist them with housing and employment plans to implement once they leave treatment.
Case managers help clients solidify aftercare plans that may include peer support meetings, individual therapy or outpatient programs. Clients can have family visitors on weekend afternoons and receive passes to visit with their children off-site. The Elizabeth Fry Society also operates New Beginnings, a program that offers mothers shelter while they find stable housing.
The Elizabeth Fry Society’s Ellendale program provides 90-day residential treatment in Surrey, British Columbia. During their three-month stay, women attend daily therapy groups and life skills classes. They also work with case managers to create long-term housing and employment plans to stabilize their transition from treatment to independent living in recovery.
Elizabeth Fry Society
402 E. Columbia St
New Westminster, BC
Canada V3L 3X1
Elizabeth Fry Society Cost: $1,200 CAD ($921.06 per publishing day exchange rate, 30 days); may qualify for subsidy. Call for details. Reach Life Recovery by phone at (604) 520-1166 and by email at [email protected]. Find Elizabeth Fry Society on Facebook and Twitter
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