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Press Release: EHN Canada offers their first gender-specific treatment facilities at Nova Scotia-based Ledgehill

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      Suanne Wong

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EHN Canada offers their first gender-specific treatment facilities at Nova Scotia-based Ledgehill


Annapolis County, NS – EHN Canada, a network of mental health and addiction facilities across Canada, is adding a unique new option to its roster: their first on the East coast and their first with separate treatment offerings for men and women.


Ledgehill is located in picturesque Lawrencetown in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, about an hour outside of Halifax, adding to EHN’s existing facilities in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. Ledgehill, which will be undergoing some renovations as it joins the EHN Canada network, also offers patients of both facilities the serene, calming surroundings that can often aid in recovery. Each located in Annapolis County on acres of beautiful land, male and female treatment quarters are 7km apart, and patients from either centre won’t have opportunities to connect.

“Something we’ve been wanting to bring to the network for a number of years is gender-specific treatment,” Cara Vaccarino, EHN Canada’s Chief Operating Officer explains. “We know that recovery can be enhanced by treatment protocols that are sensitive to gender-based experiences.”

While all patients may not need or request gender-specific treatment, the facility offers a powerful new option to seek effective therapy and begin their path to recovery. Ledgehill is open to trans and non-binary patients as well, but for an inclusive experience that is designed to address the unique challenges faced by this community, EHN Canada’s Edgewood facility in Nanaimo, BC offers its LGBTQ+ program.

Why can this new gender-based option be so essential? “Many of our patients who suffer from a substance abuse disorder—it stems from early childhood abuse, or late childhood abuse, some type of trauma, often trauma that is interpersonal, often times involving a male aggressor or an unhealthy physical conflict with a man,” Vaccarino says.

“So, it’s about providing a much safer space for women to explore issues around gender bias, abuse, and domestic violence. Women in group therapy with men may feel reluctant to explore the consequences of early childhood abuse or domestic violence in front of men. For women, in particular, having a program that’s really focused around the female condition is essential.”

The benefits of gender-specific treatment aren’t only for women. Vaccarino continues, “When you have genders mixed in a treatment environment, it can be distracting for both men and women. A lot of the people we treat have established patterns of unhealthy relationships, so when you have them separated in a treatment environment, it can really take distractions away and help them focus.”

While Ledgehill won’t be the country’s only gender-specific treatment facility, it will be the only one to offer the high-quality, evidence-based treatment programs that aren’t available anywhere else in Canada right now. And the facility is also a response to requests for EHN Canada to expand its facility options to the East coast.

“We’re responding to the needs and the requests of many long-standing referral sources, like the RCMP, the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs, interprovincial ministries of health. They’re all excited about us setting up standards of care and clinical excellence in the Maritimes,” Vaccarino says.

But she wants to be clear that the facility, which is staffed by both male and female clinicians, “is actually not about avoiding men; it’s about building competency around relating to men.”


EHN Canada is the nation’s largest network of industry-leading mental health, trauma, and addiction treatment facilities, each with a passion for providing quality treatment for Canadians. We are committed to both caring for our patients and supporting their loved ones. With over 100 years of collective experience, our inpatient, outpatient, and online programs are offered across the country, providing essential compassionate care to patients wherever they are.
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