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Newmarket clinic expands to offer veterans room to recover

Veteran-run Cadence Health and Wellness now offers clients a place to stay while receiving mental health and addictions treatment and services
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Cadence Health and Wellness has opened a new facility on Davis Drive, with peer support by Amanda Pace (from left), owners Angel and Chris Dupee, veteran Michael Power, and volunteer Andrew Humphries.

Michael Power said he struggled with addiction while serving in the military, which he left in July 2021 after 3-1/2 years.

His search for help and ongoing support brought him to Newmarket’s Cadence Health and Wellness, aimed at providing mental health and addictions services for veterans and first responders. Commuting from Ottawa, Power is now taking advantage of Cadence’s new facility and inpatient services to have a place to stay while getting treatment.

“I don’t know where I’d be right now if it wasn’t for (Cadence founder Chris Dupee),” he said. “If it wasn’t for him and Cadence, I wouldn’t have the things I have with Veterans Affairs … I would have been homeless without Chris.” 

After five years in operation, the mental health service has moved to a new facility with expanded programming Feb. 1, situated at 625 Davis Dr. Featuring seven bedrooms, the clinic is now offering inpatient treatment in addition to its outpatient services, providing those in need with a place to stay. 

Dupee said it was another way for them to help veterans in need. He said it is an exciting development that can help in giving clients peer support. 

“There’s potentially seven people that will never forget one another after this experience. Having an open conversation about your feelings, your emotions is so important,” he said. “To have other people to have those conversations with is completely priceless.”

Cadence started from Dupee’s own experiences and desire to help others as a local veteran who served in Afghanistan and struggled with PTSD. He started the business in 2017 after seeing a need to provide mental health support for veterans and their families. 

Dupee said the operation includes helping veterans navigate the bureaucracy with Veterans Affairs Canada to get their benefits, something those in need of help may not be in a position to do. He said that led to financial challenges, as they refused to turn people away, but they got through it. 

“We start off drowning, right off the bat. I didn’t know the industry, I just know I wanted to help,” he said, adding they have had to pay the costs for some clients until they could work out their benefits. “It was hard to keep the lights on, but we managed it and now we’re here.”

He runs the business alongside his wife, Angel. She said they will continue running outpatient services there along with inpatient ones. They plan to have specialists providing psychology, counselling, peer support groups, massage and even spiritual services. 

“All the differences pieces for mind, body and soul, we want to do,” she said. 

J.C. Stephens is a social service worker who has started volunteering with Cadence as an executive director. After working with many agencies, he said recognized a gap where no one is necessarily looking out for veterans to support. He added veterans may not always seek out support based on their sense of duty.

He said he sees what Cadence is doing as a potential model for others and hopes to bring in innovative programming.

“The objective is for us to have the recipients of the services here to be able to integrate into everyday life, and not to become fixtures,” he said.

Dupee said he is proud of how the operation has grown.

“It was just me and my wife grinding for so many years, and now we’ve got an executive director. Now we got those pieces in place,” he said. “I’m very proud to be back here in my community.”

Power said it is challenging navigating the system, and in his experience, there was little support to help get him the services he needed.

“Leaving the military, especially under medical or mental health circumstances, I don’t know how many would fare without a place like this.”

Editor's Note: The story was adjusted to clarify J.C. Stephens title. Apologies for the error.