Montréal, Thursday, May 6, 2010 – For the third consecutive year, the Portage centre for Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers (MICA) welcomed fifty representatives from hospitals and centres who work directly with this clientele.
“We are taking advantage of Mental Health Week to raise awareness among stakeholders from all areas of Québec about the dual problem of substance abuse and mental illness,” said Antonio Maturo, director of the Portage MICA program.
In its Plan d’action interministériel en itinérance 2010-2013 (interministerial homelessness action plan), the Government of Québec acknowledges the importance of coordinating the efforts of various players in the social community in order to alleviate the increasingly growing problem of substance abuse, mental illness and homelessness.
At Portage we have been taking action on this front since 1995 when we established the MICA program, tailored to the needs of adult substance abusers with mental health issues. The aim of the program is to eliminate abusive drug and alcohol consumption and to permit the development of social skills that will allow residents to take control of their lives and become active citizens.
“Since its inception, more than 700 people have attended the Portage MICA centre and its supervised apartments. Our program is designed for their reality, and with ongoing follow-up for two years, it provides the best possible chances in favour of our residents’ success. We are particularly proud to have added a new supervised apartment this year, bringing the total number of apartments which are available for residents who have completed the residential phase of our program to three,” said the director.
Events such as the one held today allow Portage to inform stakeholders about the MICA program, and to develop partnerships that contribute to the ongoing improvement of our services. The moving testimonials of a father and son at the open house allowed the participants to fully comprehend the impact of the therapy offered at Portage.
Portage is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is a major rehabilitation program in Canada, with services in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. Through therapeutic community best practices, Portage helps residents develop their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to overcome addiction.
Pictured here: Rita Spataro, Admissions Officer at the MICA centre, delivers a presentation; a resident takes visitors on a guided tour of the facility; the father of a MICA resident delivers a touching testimonial.