Owner forced to close Kelowna youth recovery centre now practicing in Ontario | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Owner forced to close Kelowna youth recovery centre now practicing in Ontario

Dave and Sue Kenney owned NeurVana Recovery and Wellness Inc. in Kelowna until the Ministry of Children and Family Development shut them down. Dave Kenney is now listed as facilitator of another treatment centre in Barrie, Ontario.
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KELOWNA – One of the former owners of a Kelowna youth treatment centre shut down in 2013 for operating without a licence and mistreating staff and patients is running another treatment centre in Ontario.

Dave and Susan Kenney were the owners and operators of NeurVana Recovery and Wellness Inc., which had two locations in Kelowna prior to being shut down by the Ministry of Children and Family Development in 2013.

A failed 2016 petition by the Kenney’s failed to convince the court that Ministry employees acted unreasonably, but the petition also unwittingly brought to light several of the complaints received in the months leading up to the closure.

According to the decision released Dec. 5, 2016, a woman phoned the Ministry office saying a young woman had arrived at her home asking for help escaping NeurVana.

Justice Anthony Saunders details some of the other complaints gathered by the Ministry during interviews with those who had been enrolled. The complaints included seizure of personal property, verbal abuse, public shaming and restricted contact with family.

NeurVana marketed itself as offering a holistic “brain-centred” approach to wellness similar to the wording in Emergo marketing.

Smartrecovery.org lists David Kenney as facilitator of Emergo Recovery in Barrie, Ontario. Attempts to contact someone with Emergo for comment have been unsuccessful.

Leah Robinson, 26, was a client of NeurVana in 2012. Her experience is much the same as others described in the court decision.

“It was really bad,” she says. “They wouldn’t let me talk to my mom and dad, who paid $20,000. They would have to be with me on my call as I was talking to them so I couldn’t say anything negative."

“It was constant, subtle abuse.”

Robinson says the day she finally ran away she had to walk eight hours to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.

“I just left. I didn’t care about my belongings. I went to the Women’s Shelter and it was like a paradise. It’s strict there but I felt so free," she says. “It really worries me that they’ve opened (Emergo). I do not want anything like what happened to me to happen to other people.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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