Refuge Recovery Groups at St. Luke’s and MHA for People Dealing with Addictive Behavior

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Refuge Recovery groups for people dealing with any form of addictive behavior are meeting weekly at both the Mental Health Association and St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Jamestown. Pictured are participants after a recent meeting at St. Luke's: (L to R): Willow Fodor, Oliver Bookman, Susan Smeragliuolo, Wesley Priolette, Steven Cobb, Zack Wells, Sean Jones, and Sheridan Smith.
Refuge Recovery groups for people dealing with any form of addictive behavior are meeting weekly at both the Mental Health Association and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown. Pictured are participants after a recent meeting at St. Luke’s: (L to R): Willow Fodor, Oliver Bookman, Susan Smeragliuolo, Wesley Priolette, Steven Cobb, Zack Wells, Sean Jones, and Sheridan Smith.

Article Contributed by
Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County

Refuge Recovery is a community of people dedicated to the practices of mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, and generosity, using meditation and kindness to heal the pain and suffering that addiction has caused.

Sheridan Smith and Steven Cobb jointly facilitate two Refuge Recovery groups that meet weekly in Jamestown.

The Tuesday morning group at the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County was the first meeting of this fellowship in New York State outside of New York City. Inspired by that experience, Smith and Cobb started another group that meets Thursday evenings at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Meetings are for folks suffering from any form of addictive behavior, including substance use disorder, food, shopping, technology, gambling, etc.

Many people feel Refuge Recovery compliments the recovery supports they are already participating in.

Based on Buddhist philosophy, Refuge Recovery includes daily meditation practices, written investigations that explore the causes and conditions of one’s addictions, and advice and inspiration for finding or creating a community to help you heal and awaken. Practical yet compassionate, it is designed for anyone interested in a non-theistic approach to recovery and requires no previous experience or knowledge of Buddhism or meditation.

Smith is the creator of Recover Jamestown, the 60-minute film that tells stories of addiction, recovery, and loss, and explores what hope lies in new solutions and community efforts; a trailer and the full movie can be seen on YouTube.com. Cobb is Associate Director of the Mental Health Association (MHA) and a member of St. Luke’s.

The 7:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday group meets at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 410 North Main Street. The 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday group is at the MHA in the rear of the Gateway Center, 31 Water Street, Door #14.

To learn more, email refugerecoveryavl@gmail.com or phone (716) 661-9044. Those unable to participate in these groups can get information about online and phone meetings.