What Our Residents Say
It is important to us that we have to have feedback on our program and our residents’ journey to their recovery and best health. We are partners together in this journey and hope that through our core program and our innovative therapies, you or your loved one will find the resources within themselves to continue to grow and benefit from the work they did at Dunham House.
Our goal is set you in the right direction; in many cases, former residents move onto their new life and we don’t always hear from them and we understand that. But is nice to know now and again that our work is appreciated, and we have made an important difference in someone’s life. Thank you for sharing your testimony Laurent!
If you would like to share with us, please feel free to send us a message Here. We would love to hear from you!
To all the staff at Dunham, Murray, Ryan, Anthony, Lalage, Katalin, Dan, Ken, everyone else who worked there during my stay. I can not put into words what you guys all helped me achieve. I never thought I would ever see the day that I would not be plagued by the constant obsession of using. Thanks to all of you, my wife has a responsible husband, my kids have a father that is present & dependable who loves them & can actually feel deep love! My journey in sobriety is continuing, I go to meetings, have a sponsor. I was terrified to leave but turns out the world is not that scary thanks to the work I put in while I was in treatment & continue to put in. On behalf of my wife & kids, of course from me as well. Thank you. You all have given me my life back!
With the help of the counselors and staff not only did I manage to get myself sober but I also found self-worth and ambition. Where I never saw hope before; I started to want things out of life.
Having practiced as a psychiatrist in Quebec for 55 years, I can legitimately assert that I am familiar with the needs of the mentally ill, as well as with the facilities and programs that are available in this province to respond to them. Some mental illnesses are chronic or recurrent, they affect the patients for the duration of their life, and a good number of them will require long periods of residential care. Continuing in-patient treatment used to be offered mainly in psychiatric hospitals; but the advent of medications which effectively decrease the severity of symptoms, and the development of services to assist the mentally ill in the community, have resulted in the closure of long-stay beds in hospitals. Most chronic psychiatric patients are presently followed in ambulatory treatment programs and do not stay in institutions. However, the availability of residential therapy is still essential, for even with the considerable progress made in the out-patient care area, many patients prove unable to cope in the community, and there are those who must be protected from harmful external influences. Particularly problematic is the case of the dual pathology sufferers; that is, persons with a chronic and severe mental illness who are also affected by a substance abuse problem. Their psychiatric condition makes them ineligible to benefit from in-patient rehabilitation at standard addiction services- as they tend to lack the necessary psychiatric expertise and are usually of short duration (i.e.: stay limited to three weeks in Quebec public facilities). And their substance abuse problem is most likely neglected at general psychiatric programs, because the latter do not usually include specific addiction treatment components. The setting up of the Dunham House facility has therefore been a most fortunate initiative. A long stay residential program which integrates mental health and addiction rehabilitation, stressing the re-establishment of a healthy daily living routine and the development of social skills, well adjusted interpersonal function, better understanding of mental illness and addiction, good compliance with treatment and a steady pursuit of recovery. In other words, a state-of-the-art rehabilitation program. Moreover, it is the only such a program in the province of Quebec which is offered in the English language. As a founding director of the McGill University Addictions Unit (Griffith Edwards Centre) and a practitioner of many years in the field, I can attest that the Dunham House program constitutes a unique and invaluable addition to the mental health resources in Quebec.
I am a graduate of McGill Medicine and have been a Family Physician centered in Knowlton, near Dunham, Québec since 1972. I am a teaching member of the Department of Family Medicine and have served as a consultant for people with Addiction since the beginning of my practice and was Certified in the treatment of Addiction by the American Society of Addiction Medicine in 1986. The disease of Addiction has biological and genetic causes and causes persons with this brain structure to be unable to control alcohol and drugs, to undergo profound changes in their thought patterns when they consume, and to constantly crave the substance to which they are addicted. Mental Issues such as Attention Deficit Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, and Psychosis co-exist with the addiction and must be diagnosed and treated if the patient is to stop consuming and remain abstinent. There are many centers available for therapy, but Dunham House is distinctive because of the quality of its accredited staff, and because the patient’s co-existing disorders are treated and stabilized in the course of their in-patient therapy in-patient therapy by qualified physicians. This approach to treatment has yielded excellent results and should be a model for all treatment centers.
Dear Mr. Colson, I am pleased to advise you that the AMI-Quebec Board of Directors has selected you as the recipient of the 2018 AMI-Quebec Award for Exemplary Service in the Field of Mental Illness. This award was created in recognition of individuals who provide extraordinary care to persons with mental illnesses and to their families. Selecting you for this award is a reflection of the Board’s recognition and appreciation of your hard work over the years to develop and secure Dunham House. Continuing changes and budget cuts to Quebec’s healthcare system present many challenges in many domains, mental health among them. Your indefatigable efforts to ‘compensate’ for the shortcomings of the public system have been exemplary, and your engagement and dedication have been truly inspiring. Dunham House, an important residential treatment program, would not have been possible without your leadership and dedication. By presenting you with this award, we commend you for your leadership, efforts and perseverance.