on the lookout for mental health issues
Most Portage residents have had a complicated background of trauma, family dysfunction, and chaos – all factors that can lead to mental health problems, says Liz Graham, a nurse and the Coordinator of Health Services at Portage Elora. Staff are therefore constantly on the lookout for signs and symptoms of concurrent disorders of addiction and mental health issues.
All residents undergo comprehensive mental health assessments when they arrive at Portage and throughout their rehabilitation process by the nurses on staff and by the consulting psychiatrist. Through the BECK Depression Inventory Scale and the Crisis Intervention Assessment, residents answer a series of questions about altered mood, perceptual disturbances, hallucinations, and so on. Memory is also tested to see if the illicit drugs that the resident was taking have had any effect on memory function.
Residents having fun working the property
Portage Elora’s beautiful 55 acre-property is therapeutic in itself, providing residents with a peaceful country setting in which to undergo their drug addiction rehabilitation therapy.
Through the sociocultural and recreational programming offered at Portage, residents not only get to enjoy the property as a playground for hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and playing outdoor team sports, but they also get to contribute to keeping the grounds in good shape.
In the month of May, they planted 100 trees on the property, which were donated to Portage by the Green Legacy Program. They also planted all the flower beds and recently made a vegetable garden, something the facility has not had in a few years. The residents are trying to grow tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis and watermelons.
Portage across Canada
The Accreditation Canada visit
All Portage centres participating
in the accreditation process had their Accreditation Canada visit
during the week of June 7-11. Each of these centres had received the
Accreditation Primer in 2008 and 2009. The purpose of this year’s visit
was to complete the accreditation process, demonstrating the continuous
improvement of the quality of Portage’s services, the competency of the
staff members, and the expertise of the organisation.
At the end of the week, the Accreditation Canada
surveyors expressed how delighted they were to have visited Portage,
thanking the staff members for their warm welcome and their patience.
They noted the flexibility and adaptability of the organisation and the
very high quality of services and care offered to residents. The
surveyors were struck by the devotion, passion, and creativity of
Portage staff members and praised Portage’s continuing efforts to
improve practices and measures to ensure the safety of residents. They
were especially impressed by Portage’s focus on residents and their
families, enthusiastically highlighting the Recognition Ceremonies, the
official recognition of each resident who completes the Portage program.
Accreditation Canada’s Board of Directors will be
making their official decision about Portage’s accreditation in the
coming days. Portage is pleased to have participated in this process
and is committed to maintaining all the improvements that have been
made, while continuously bettering its service offering.
Portage across Canada
At the end of April, a group of Portage staff members attended a training session on the GAIN questionnaire (Global Appraisal of Individual Needs) at the Chestnut Health Systems facility in Illinois. Portage is currently preparing to shift to the GAIN system to assess new residents at the admission phase.
Established in 1993, the GAIN has received widespread recognition as an evidence-based assessment technique for both adults and adolescents. It is a comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment tool that supports a number of treatment practices, including initial screenings, brief interventions, referrals, standardised clinical assessments for diagnosis, placement and treatment planning, monitoring of changes in clinical status, service utilisation, costs to society, and subgroup and program-level needs assessment and evaluation.
Portage is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping people who are suffering from substance abuse-related problems to overcome their dependencies and to live healthy, happy and productive lives. Portage is a vital and progressive force in the drug addiction treatment field in North America, with service centres in Québec, New Brunswick, Ontario, and British Columbia. Through drug addiction treatment best practices and the therapeutic community approach, Portage helps residents develop their self-esteem, confidence, and the competencies necessary to overcome addiction.
Portage has been operating drug rehabilitation centres in Canada for over 35 years. Portage Ontario was established in 1985.
Read more about Portage’s mission, vision, and values.