Portage opens a new centre in Montreal



    MONTREAL, March 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Portage today inaugurated its new centre
at 2455 Lionel-Groulx Avenue, in Montreal. The centre will host Portage's
mother and child program for addicted mothers and their young children, as
well as for pregnant addicts. The centre also hosts Portage's program for
mentally ill chemical abusers.
    Guests included Philippe Couillard, Minister of Health and Social
Services, Jacques Chagnon, MNA for Westmount-Saint-Louis, Jacqueline
Montpetit, Mayor of South-West Borough, and André Chagnon, Chairman of the
Board and President of the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, along with
representatives of various organizations and Portage partners.

    Mother-Child Program

    Established at Prévost's Portage centre in 1997, the mother and child
program has been relocated in new 15,000 sq. ft. facilities that are better
suited to the needs of mothers and their children. The centre comprises six
units, each equipped with rooms, a kitchenette and a common room. These new
facilities thus provide staff members, residents and their children with a
welcoming environment situated near all services. This change in venue will
enable Portage to double the program's intake capacity so that it can offer
treatment to some 75 mothers and children each year. The organization will
thus be able to assist a larger number of women who want to remain with their
children throughout their stays.
    This program is designed to provide direct assistance within a
residential environment to support women in their personal development and to
promote the emotional, intellectual and physical development of children,
while improving the quality of ties binding mother and child. The activities
offered through this program are also aimed at eliminating the transfer of
dependency issues from one generation to the next.
    By 2010-2011, this project will have received financial support of
$11,500,000, shared equally by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services
sociaux du Québec and the Fondation Lucie et André Chagnon. Portage has
treated 135 mothers and 223 children since the program was first launched.
    "Better access by addicted mothers and their children to services is an
initiative of the 2006-2011 interdepartmental action plan on drug abuse, which
was introduced by our government in March of 2006. This plan, which applies
renewed focus on this recipient group, sets out 41 concerted activities aimed
at preventing, reducing and treating addiction within Quebec society. The
mother and child program has grown out of cooperative efforts on the
community, public and private levels and serves as a fine example of teamwork
among these different forums," said the Minister of Health and Social
Services.
    "This unique and groundbreaking initiative corresponds with our
foundation's mission of contributing to the development and to the improvement
of good health through the prevention of poverty and disease, particularly by
taking action among children and their parents. I am delighted by the opening
of this centre, which focuses on concepts of individual effort, the parent's
role and overall development of the child from an early age, within a
family-like atmosphere," said André Chagnon.

    Program for mentally ill chemical abusers

    In 1995, Portage instituted an innovative residential program designed to
meet the needs of individuals suffering from such mental disorders as
schizophrenia that are associated with addiction. In 2000, this supra-regional
program was relocated to Montreal and now occupies new facilities on the upper
floor of the new centre at 2455 Lionel-Groulx Avenue.
    Resulting from close cooperation with mental health professionals from
Greater Montreal hospitals, this program employs a notified therapeutic
approach and respects each individual's attention span, learning ability and
rate of progress. The program seeks not only to improve user's quality of
life, but to significantly reduce the occurrence of crisis situations and
relapses.
    This pioneering program is partly funded by the Ministère de la Santé et
des Services sociaux and by Portage's partners, principally the EJLB
Foundation.

    New facilities

    The mother and child program and the program for mentally ill chemical
abusers moved into their new facilities in November 2006. The site offers
numerous benefits and has been specifically designed to meet resident needs.
Both treatment programs can, accordingly, share certain common services, while
remaining physically separate from each other.
    "Portage invested $5 million in this project's deployment so that it
could provide a better response to needs of the beneficiaries of both
programs," said Peter Howlett, Portage's president. He added: "A visit to the
centre will reveal the meticulous planning that has gone into facilitating the
assimilation of beneficiaries."

    Portage

    Since 1970, Portage has helped over 33,000 addicts quit their habits. The
organization offers a multitude of services tailored to the needs of its
resident adults, teens, addict mothers with young children, pregnant addicts
and mentally ill chemical abusers. Portage administers six treatment centres
in Quebec, located in Montreal, Beaconsfield, Quebec City, Prévost (the
Laurentians) and Saint-Damien-de-Buckland (Chaudière-Appalaches). Two other
centres serve residents of Ontario and of New Brunswick.




For further information:

For further information: Colette Taylor, Senior Director, Development,
Portage, (514) 939-0202, Cell.: (514) 946-8798

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Portage

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