Need a mental health day? Ski resort and recovery center team up with free lift passes
RIRIE — A local ski resort and a recovery center are teaming up for the…
RIRIE — A local ski resort and a recovery center are teaming up for the second year in a row to offer a free mental health and recovery day.
The event is called “Slopes of Hope” and will be held on Wednesday, March 1 at Kelly Canyon. It’s organized by Brick House Recovery, a faith-based treatment center in Idaho Falls, and Kelly Canyon Ski Resort. There will be free lift passes and equipment rentals. Additionally, there will be music, food, speakers, and resources, as well as a recovery celebration.
The event brings awareness to mental health and recovery through recreation therapy.
Last year was the event’s first year, and it was successful. Hundreds of people showed up.
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“It was awesome. What I think was really exciting for me personally (was) seeing families come up together and maybe one of the parents was in recovery and treating their mental health and they brought their children with them,” said Jason Coombs, founder of Brick House Recovery in Idaho Falls.
For some of those families, it was their first time putting on a pair of ski boots or snowboard boots and trying out the sport. It gave people a new opportunity and created some long-lasting memories.
Doug Swanson, the sales and marketing director at Kelly Canyon, told EastIdahoNews.com he wants to continue to broaden the event.
“You don’t have to be an addict or an alcoholic to enjoy Slopes of Hope. It might be that you are dealing with depression and you need a mental health day. You might have an eating disorder,” Swanson said. “It’s just a day to take a break from the tough stuff going on in your life and have some self-care.”
Swanson said he is a recovering addict and alcoholic. He has been sober for about 26 years.
Coombs too has dealt with long-term recovery from substance use disorder and mental health. In March, he will celebrate being 14 years clean.
“Slopes of Hope combines my two passions. It combines recovery and skiing because I have always been a huge skier,” Coombs said. “Skiing was a big part of my recovery in the earlier years and it still is — just getting up in the mountain and connecting with nature and connecting with my higher power and with people. I want others to experience that too.”
There will be a raffle at Slopes of Hope that is going to raise money for Connection is the Cure, which is a nonprofit that connects people to people and people to resources. The nonprofit hosts events and concerts throughout the year which touch on topics like mental health, addiction recovery and suicide prevention.
“The idea of Connection is the Cure is getting people together and letting people know they are not alone,” Swanson explained.
Resources provided at Slopes of Hope include information about counseling services, treatment centers and nonprofits that provide mental health and addiction treatment.
Swanson said he hopes there will be around 500 people this year for the event. If you are interested in the event, you are encouraged to register. Registration is free. Click here to sign up.
If you aren’t interested in skiing or snowboarding, Coombs and Swanson encourage anyone to hang out or attend the recovery celebration at the lodge from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.