SMART in Singapore

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On a recent trip to Singapore, SMART Recovery International Executive Officer Kim McCreanor had the opportunity to visit We Care Community Services.  We Care supports people living with all forms of addictive and compulsive behaviour.  They take a holistic approach to helping people, using evidence-based counselling and therapy group work and providing a community drop in centre where people find a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment in which they can stabilise and work on their recovery.  SMART Recovery meetings are offered to participants as part of their suite of support tools. 

During her visit Kim met with Tham Yeun Han, Executive Director of We Care.  Han was keen to share the background of her organisations SMART Recovery meetings and tool use.

How long have you been providing SMART programs to people accessing WE CARE?

We started our first meeting in Nov 2017 and since then we have had more than 100 participants attending the once-a-week afternoon session at our centre.  We have received requests for more sessions on other days and in the evenings as well and we hope to be able to introduce more sessions soon as we have more facilitators trained.  

How did you learn about SMART Recovery?

We heard about SMART from someone who had attended many years of AA and she wanted to explore a non 12 step based group approach to recovery. We heard good things about SMART from her so we did some research because we wanted to offer more options to our recovering folks.

How many of your staff are trained in the SMART Recovery approach?

Five have completed the training.  One is now in the midst of doing her modules.

What do you see are the benefits of the SMART Recovery meetings and tools?

Many of our participants who attend SMART have shared that they appreciate the very practical tools and strategies that SMART offers. They share that these tools are useful not just for recovery from addiction but that they can also be applied to their everyday lives and relationships as well.

It was a great to meet with Han and to hear first-hand how SMART is working for Singaporeans who are struggling with problematic behaviours.

Michael Bellamy