Montréal, March 9, 2007— Portage today inaugurated its new centre at 2455 Lionel-Groulx Avenue, in Montréal. The centre will host Portage’s Mother and Child program for addicted mothers and their young children, as well as for pregnant addicts. The centre also hosts Portage’s program for Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers.
Guests included Philippe Couillard, Minister of Health and Social Services, Jacques Chagnon, MNA for Westmount-Saint-Louis, Jacqueline Montpetit, Mayor of South-West Borough, and André Chagnon, Chairman of the Board and President of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, along with representatives of various organisations and Portage partners.
Established at Prévost’s Portage centre in 1997, the Mother and Child program has been relocated in new 15,000 sq. ft. facilities that are better suited to the needs of mothers and their children. The centre comprises six units, each equipped with rooms, a kitchenette and a common room. These new facilities thus provide staff members, residents and their children with a welcoming environment situated near all services. This change in venue will enable Portage to double the program’s intake capacity so that it can offer treatment to some 75 mothers and children each year. The organisation will thus be able to assist a larger number of women who want to remain with their children throughout their stays.
This program is designed to provide direct assistance within a residential environment to support women in their personal development and to promote the emotional, intellectual and physical development of children, while improving the quality of ties binding mother and child. The activities offered through this program are also aimed at eliminating the transfer of dependency issues from one generation to the next.
By 2010-2011, this project will have received financial support of $11,500,000, shared equally by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec and the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon. Portage has treated 135 mothers and 223 children since the program was first launched.
“Better access by addicted mothers and their children to services is an initiative of the 2006-2011 interdepartmental action plan on drug abuse, which was introduced by our government in March of 2006. This plan, which applies renewed focus on this recipient group, sets out 41 concerted activities aimed at preventing, reducing and treating addiction within Quebec society. The mother and child program has grown out of cooperative efforts on the community, public and private levels and serves as a fine example of teamwork among these different forums,” said the Minister of Health and Social Services.
“This unique and groundbreaking initiative corresponds with our foundation’s mission of contributing to the development and to the improvement of good health through the prevention of poverty and disease, particularly by taking action among children and their parents. I am delighted by the opening of this centre, which focuses on concepts of individual effort, the parent’s role and overall development of the child from an early age, within a family-like atmosphere,” said André Chagnon.
Program for Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers
In 1995, Portage instituted an innovative residential program designed to meet the needs of individuals suffering from such mental disorders as schizophrenia that are associated with addiction. In 2000, this supra-regional program was relocated to Montreal and now occupies new facilities on the upper floor of the new centre at 2455 Lionel-Groulx Avenue.
Resulting from close cooperation with mental health professionals from Greater Montréal hospitals, this program employs a notified therapeutic approach and respects each individual’s attention span, learning ability and rate of progress. The program seeks not only to improve user’s quality of life, but to significantly reduce the occurrence of crisis situations and relapses.
This pioneering program is partly funded by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux and by Portage’s partners, principally the EJLB Foundation.
The Mother and Child program and the program for Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers moved into their new facilities in November 2006. The site offers numerous benefits and has been specifically designed to meet resident needs. Both treatment programs can, accordingly, share certain common services, while remaining physically separate from each other.
“Portage invested $5 million in this project’s deployment so that it could provide a better response to needs of the beneficiaries of both programs,” said Peter Howlett, Portage’s president. He added: “A visit to the centre will reveal the meticulous planning that has gone into facilitating the assimilation of beneficiaries.”
Since 1970, Portage has helped over 33,000 addicts quit their habits. The organisation offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of its resident adults, teens, addict mothers with young children, pregnant addicts and mentally ill chemical abusers. Portage administers six treatment centres in Quebec, located in Montreal, Beaconsfield, Quebec City, Prévost (the Laurentians) and Saint-Damien-de-Buckland (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two other centres serve residents of Ontario and of New Brunswick.