Portage Ontario is among the addiction agencies recently selected to receive new telemedicine equipment and support to link into the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN). This is part of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care’s initiative to address narcotics abuse and to make specialised addiction and mental health services more accessible to people who live in rural and remote communities. Through the OTN, specialists can conduct appointments with clients via a secure video link, as opposed to face-to-face, thus reducing the need for travel.
Through this project, Portage will be soon be able to provide addiction assessment, treatment planning, and referral services for youth, parents, and family physicians in rural and remote communities where few if any other resources are available. The program will also enhance Portage’s continuing care and family services by providing graduates who live in remote areas with the opportunity to have individual counseling and even group therapy sessions via video with members of the Portage Elora community.