Local Agencies Present Poster At Prestigious National Conference

MHA 2013 - 16 AimThe Addiction Supportive Housing partnership is an example of the type of program that supports people to spend more days at home in their communities. 

To learn more about this proposed AIM for the LHIN's 2013-16 IHSP, please click on the image above. 

On September 21st, St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre (SPLC) in Scarborough,and Community Outreach  Programs in Addictions (COPA) presented a poster about their Addiction Supportive Housing (ASH) partnership at the "Celebrating the Past, Present and Future of Senior's Mental Health" conference in Banff, Alberta. The conference was co-hosted by the Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP). 

The goal of the ASH program is to increase the health and social outcomes of people with problematic substance use issues who are frequent users of the addictions treatment system. The program provides stable affordable housing, addictions treatment and case management. Clients in the program are also encouraged and supported to access other services and reconnect to the community. ASH provides services to vulnerable Ontarians with both complex addictions and mental health needs many of whom are homeless or inadequately housed.

The ASH program is a result of the 2008 provincial government commitment to provide 1000 units of addiction supportive housing across the province of Ontario. The Local Health Integration Networks were responsible for identifying the community addictions agencies and supportive housing providers that would be implementing the program. The ASH partnership in Scarborough is funded by the Central East LHIN and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The SPLC and COPA partnership provides housing, access to programs and services, and addictions case management services to adults 55 years and older. SPLC provides supportive housing, programs and services, and COPA provides specialist geriatric addictions treatment and case management.

Together they provide integrated, multi-disciplinary support with the objective of:

  • Reducing the frequency of re-admissions to addiction programs
  • Reducing contact with the criminal justice system
  • Increasing successful tenancy
  • Reducing repeated use of emergency and acute care systems
  • Reducing repeated unscheduled substance abuse visits to the emergency department within a 30 day period
  • Increasing community engagement and social participation for clients who have barriers to engaging in programming
  • Improving physical and mental health

"We are very pleased to collaborate with the Central East LHIN and COPA to support some of the most vulnerable older adults and seniors in Scarborough. As an agency we place great value on providing housing and services for those with mental health and addiction needs and we know first-hand there is a need for local, culturally-diverse, wrap-around support services which help promote community integration and increase the likelihood clients can reach their harm reduction goals. We are thankful to the Central East LHIN for supporting this vital service, without their funding it would not be possible to provide services for this important and often forgotten population." Diane Duncan, Executive Director, St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre.

"At SPLC we have always worked to the goal of supporting seniors in need and adapting and evolving our services to close the gaps faced by vulnerable populations. The ASH partnership is an effective means to share expertise and collaborate to reduce barriers to support for this very special population" Jim Kaufman, Chair of the Board of Directors, St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre.

“COPA is very happy to be partnering with St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre to provide much needed specialized geriatric addictions treatment and service, within community-based seniors housing offering a range of programs and services. Our mutual clients have benefited enormously from the combination of geriatric addictions service, affordable housing and the full spectrum of seniors services that SPLC provides. We believe that providing specialized geriatric addictions services within an inclusive seniors’ community is the way of the future.” Elizabeth Birchall, Executive Director, Community Outreach Programs in Addictions (COPA)

“By sharing their poster with other health care providers and the broader community, St. Paul’s L’Amoreaux Centre and its partners are illustrating how successful service models can be developed and replicated in other communities across the province. Congratulations to everyone involved in the ASH partnership, an initiative that is helping to keep people at home in their communities.” Wayne Gladstone, Chair, Central East LHIN Board of Directors.

Quick Facts:

  • In Canada, 10.9 percent and 13.6 percent of those aged 65-74 and 75+ years respectively report exceeding low risk drinking guidelines (Adlaf, 2005).
  • In reality, older adults like other members of the population, are likely to under report their alcohol and drug use.
  • A US study has estimated that the number of adults 50 years and older requiring substance abuse treatment will more than double by 2020 (Gfroerer et al, 2003 )
  • Health Canada (2002) states best practices identified through research demonstrates that treatment of high need older adults includes:
    • a harm reduction and holistic problem solving approach,
    • home visiting known as “outreach”
    • intensive case management and
    • social and recreational programs

For information about the ASH partnership at SPLC, or to view the poster presented at the conference, please visit: http://www.splc.ca/centre-news.php?id=418

For information on older adults and addictions please go to the Seniors Health and Research Transfer Network (SHRTN)/Alzheimer Knowledge Exchange (AKE) Community of Practice for Mental Health, Addictions and Behavioural Issues at: http://www.akeresourcecentre.org/Addictions

To speak to someone about the ASH partnership, please contact:

  • Roberta Wong, Director of Client Care and Community Services, St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre at roberta@splc.ca, or by calling 416 493-3333, or
  • Elizabeth Birchall, Executive Director of Community Outreach Programs in Addictions at director@copacommunity.ca.

Submitted by Kathryn Mannion, Director of Development, Policy and Communications, St. Paul's L'Amoreaux Centre