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P.E.I. woman eager to see doors open to Lennon House recovery centre

Dianne Young, chair of Lennon Recovery House Association, and Thanks for Giving motorcycle run organizer Donnie Aitken stand outside the recovery centre in South Rustico following the run on Saturday. About 150 motorcyclists helped raise more than $1,500 through the run.
Dianne Young, chair of Lennon Recovery House Association, and Thanks for Giving motorcycle run organizer Donnie Aitken stand outside the recovery centre in South Rustico in this file photo. - Mitch MacDonald

Dianne Young is eager to see the doors open to Lennon House, a facility she believes could have saved her son’s life - and she is not alone in thinking that.

“People are calling me pretty much daily wondering when we are opening because people need a place to go,’’ says Young.

Some Islanders told Young her desire to open a facility in P.E.I. to provide services to people suffering from addiction and mental health illnesses was just a pipe dream.

But Young is a woman of action.

Her desire to help others has been driven by the crushing loss of her son, Lennon Waterman, in 2013 to suicide after a long-tormented illness of schizophrenia and drug addiction.

She became the driving force behind Lennon House, which is a work-in-progress.

RELATED: Creating a house of hope and healing in South Rustico

Renovations continue to the building that was once home to Belcourt Retreat Centre in South Rustico, a building the Diocese of Charlottetown has donated to Young’s determined mission.

She then established the Lennon Recovery House Association and formed a board of directors, which is working towards opening Lennon House.

“It’s not been easy…there have been a lot of struggles along the way,’’ says Young. “I have never given up.’’

More than $100,000 has been raised, but much more is needed.

RELATED: Weighty issue: P.E.I. doctor wants to raise $5,000 for Lennon House

Young is hopeful to win considerable support from the province for Lennon House, a place she believes that will fill a void by providing holistic treatment and an array of help along a potential path of recovery, help ranging from music therapy to life coaching, from yoga classes to basic life skills.

“It’s not going to be a medical facility… it’s going to be an alternative to what we have (in the province).’’

Young says the province has provided assistance but notes considerable additional government funding is being sought for start-up and operational costs before Lennon House can open its doors.

The mission statement

The vision Lennon Recovery House Association is dedicated to supporting the recovery of individuals from substance abuse and subsequent mental health challenges. Lennon House will work at giving individuals new opportunities to live their life free from addiction, promote independence, encourage personal development and, most importantly, create hope.

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