About Portage

07-29-2011

The last edition of this newsletter highlighted two new programs currently underway at Portage’s centre in Québec City: the program for physical abuse and sexual assault victims with psychotropic substance abuse problems, and “En emploi, moi j’y crois,” a program for people under the age of thirty with a history of drug addiction. Here is a brief update on how these programs are going:

“Maître de sa vie” – A program for physical abuse and sexual assault victims with psychotropic substance abuse problems

Funded by BAVAC (Québec’s crime victims assistance bureau), the purpose of the “Maître de sa vie” project is to help clients at Portage’s outpatient drug rehabilitation program at the Québec City Day Centre who have been victims of abuse. The objective of the program is to treat all forms of abuse, violence, or trauma in order to reduce their impact. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Isabelle Proulx, a clinical sexologist and psychotherapist.

“I’m very happy to be involved in this project,” states Mme Proulx. “Since I started collaborating with Portage, I’ve seen how the the effects of physical and sexual abuse can jeopardise the recovery process of people with addiction issues. Because of these effects, these people are more distrustful, have more difficulty managing their emotions (particularly anger), are sometimes cut off from their feelings, and have internalised such a negative image of themselves and others that it’s hard to restore their self-esteem and work on having healthy relationships. I think it’s essential to identify and treat the effects of this trauma in the therapeutic process at Portage and that’s the challenge I’ve taken on with the team at the Day Centre.”

The “Maître de sa vie” project is being realised in partnership with a Master’s student at the Université de Laval’s Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur l’éducation et la vie au travail. Once the research is completed, a profile of the clientele and a list of abuse-related effects that jeopardise the probability of success in drug addiction rehabilitation will be drawn up.

With this information, Portage hopes to be able to generate guidelines to better identify the needs of its clients who have been victims of abuse and suffer from psychotropic substance abuse problems
This issue affects about 85% of the clients at Portage’s Day Centre in Québec City. With subsequent training and supervision, Portage Day Centre staff members will be more sensitised to these challenges and will be better equipped to deal with them in their interventions with clients.

The “En emploi, moi j’y crois” project for people under the age of thirty
In partnership with Service Canada, the Portage Employment Reintegration Centre in Québec City launched a project in November that provides young people under the age of thirty with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, thus enhancing their employability and helping them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to get ahead in the job market. The “En emploi, moi j’y crois!” project is for young people with a history of drug addiction, alcoholism, or compulsive gambling. The participants have sought out this opportunity to get the support they need to overcome their addiction issues that were negatively affecting their overall functioning.

This Portage Employment Reintegration project is a great opportunity for participants, as they can work full time while having access to group workshops and individual follow-up at Portage. Workshops are aimed at maintaining a new, positive lifestyle.

Portage has been able to find suitable employment positions for candidates thanks to a wage subsidy of 60%. Though many of these employers may normally consider it too risky to hire a former drug addict, by going through the Portage Employment Reintegration Program, they have the reassurance that there is a support structure for the employee in place at Portage, to identify any issues and prevent problems by monitoring the participant closely through individual meetings and group sessions.

Portage recognises the challenges posed by the labour force shortage in the Capitale-Nationale region. This project, among others at the Portage Employment Reintegration Program help to address these challenges by encouraging and helping people who have had trouble getting back into the job market to do so.

A few spots in the “En emploi, moi j’y crois” program are still available. For more information, please contact Marie Josée Gignac at 418 524-6038.

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