The Department of Health and Social Services is expanding its suite of addictions treatment aftercare programs with a mobile phone app called Wagon to help support residents in their recovery journey.
The Wagon app provides an abstinence-based, online maintenance program that can be accessed following addictions treatment. The app is personalized for people’s unique needs and is backed by science to help them heal. It offers residents:
- weekly 2-hour virtual group therapy sessions with registered clinicians to build on the skills developed during inpatient or intensive outpatient treatment;
- access to the Wagon App for setting goals, tracking progress, and monitoring triggers; and
- access to specialty groups focused on socialization, stabilization, and relapse prevention.
Residents can register for the Wagon app by contacting their local Community Counselling Program or by visiting: https://sessions.onthewagon.ca/booking/steps/matching/.
A brief assessment may be required to ensure this support meets the recovery needs of each individual.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has partnered with EHN Canada, a leading treatment network for addictions recovery, for the delivery of this app in the NWT.
“Residents have asked for additional support when they complete an addictions treatment program. This support is critical to help them maintain their sobriety and continue their healing journey. The Wagon app is a portable clinic that residents can access anywhere they get a cell signal and whenever they need it. This e-based option is one of several options available to residents, including the Community Counselling Program, the NWT Help Line, and various on-the-land and community-based funds.”
- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services
“EHN Online (powered by Wagon) is proud to support the Government of the Northwest Territories in their mission to support individuals with substance use and mental health disorders. EHN Online provides accessible online programs using evidence-based approaches, making us a great fit for individuals who have limited or no access to mental health care in their communities.”
- Lanie Schachter-Snipper, National Director, EHN Outpatient Services
- EHN has been providing inpatient treatment for NWT residents for years at their Edgewood Treatment Centre in Nanaimo, BC.
- Residents returning from Edgewood to their home communities have had access to 1 year of the Wagon app.
- Now residents receiving treatment from outside of EHN can access weekly aftercare groups as well as the Wagon app.
- Aftercare is important to long-term recovery as individuals learn from each other’s real-life experience.
- EHN Outpatient Services Aftercare Program keeps people connected in early recovery, reducing the likelihood of relapse and helping them reintegrate back into their lives more easily.
- Topics included in EHN aftercare groups are boundaries and interpersonal relationships; self-compassion and self-care; identity development and values; loss and grief; exploring hobbies in recovery; and goal setting.
- Findings from a pilot study by EHN Canada involving 65 service-users between the ages of 26 and 59 with about the same mix of males and females showed:
- 54% reported that Wagon helped them continue to abstain.
- 86% reported that Wagon helped them follow their recovery plan.
- 67% reported decreased effects of triggers while using Wagon.
- 47% reported decreased feelings of isolation while using Wagon.
- 64% reported increased levels of happiness while using Wagon.
- Of the participants that relapsed during the study, 75% reported feeling that Wagon helped them get back on track.
- 73% of participants reported that they would recommend Wagon to others.
- Benefits of the Wagon app include:
- Tracking individual’s progress through an interactive dashboard.
- Flagging high-risk situations that prompts outreach by staff to individuals.
- Includes specialized content for Substance Use Disorder, PTSD, Sex and Love Addictions, and Depression and Anxiety Disorders.
- Getting continued support from the comfort of their home.
- Minimizing disruption to work or family.
- Wagon is available 24/7 in English and French.
- Clinicians at Wagon have received Northern Context Training specific to NWT.
- Mental wellness and addictions recovery support available to NWT residents include the Community Counselling Program, the NWT Help Line, on-the-land and community-based options, and facility-based treatment options.
For media requests, please contact:
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
1-867-767-9052 ext. 49034