For over 25 years, Portage has relied on Bell Canada’s unwavering support in its fight against drug addiction. Bell’s « Let’s Talk » initiative, launched 10 years ago, raises funds to improve mental health care in Canada. This year, the world’s biggest virtual conversation about mental health will take place on January 29, 2020.
Portage et Bell, les noces d’argent
As an outstanding partner for more than 25 years, Bell has helped improve Portage’s rehabilitation programs throughout Québec thanks to its yearly financial contribution. In recent years, the partnership has grown with the addition of a program for women suffering from addiction, mental illness and homelessness. The program, known as MICA, was originally intended for men and has been in operation in Montreal since 1995. It addresses the pressing need for services geared to individuals with concurrent substance use and mental health disorders. Portage’s therapeutic approach has been tailored to the needs of this specific population and the results have been impressive. Bell is no stranger to this success, having helped finance part of the MICA program for women.
Last year, Bell employees welcomed the MICA team to their offices located on Île-des-Sœurs as an opportunity to gain a better understanding of mental health disorders, distress and even the issue of co-occurring drug use. The director of the MICA centre was accompanied by the first graduate of the MICA program for women, who delivered a moving testimonial: “I felt like a monster living out in the world. I couldn’t do anything anymore, anything but survive. When I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, I started on medication that had a whole bunch of side effects. I fell into a depression and started using again. I entered Portage’s MICA program for women on June 20th and joined a small group of nine women with substance use and mental health disorders. What I discovered at Portage was a great deal of love. The counsellors were so invested in their role that I felt like I’d found a new family.”
The Bell Let’s Talk Campaign
This year, Bell is celebrating the 10th edition of its Let’s Talk campaign. With nearly 100 million dollars raised through the nine previous campaigns, each year has marked a step forward in the fight against stigmatization as well as a step toward improved access to services and support for research. This year, the theme of the campaign is Mental Health: Every Action Counts. Mental health disorders affect Canadians of all ages and social backgrounds and they face very real stigmatization in their daily life and at work. What’s the solution? We can talk. Have a conversation in order to dispel preconceived notions; understand in order to avoid hurting. The Bell Let’s Talk Day is about helping each other and engaging in an important discussion on the topic of mental health.
Portage is proud to be part of the Let’s Talk campaign and to support Bell through its role as a key player in mental health care.