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It has been a hard road for Marie Lafleur and her family.

Her son struggles with mental illness and addiction. His only real support right now is medication.

“We, as a family, have suffered a lot: hospitalization, police arrest, 24/7 phone calls, punches, verbal abuse,” he explained. “We resigned a few times.”

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Many programs have been tried to help the 20-year-old, but the Centennial Center for Mental Health and Brain Injury of Ponoka changed the game.

“It’s a dual program for mental illness and addiction,” Lafleur said. “It was very good for him. It was the best program he had. “

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Lafleur was relieved when she found out her son would be back next week, but then received a phone call saying the show would stop indefinitely.

“She was so dismayed that she was asleep,” she said. “For a person suffering from mental illness, it is very difficult to be rejected after asking for help.”

Lafleur was not told directly why he has stopped, only that there are problems related to COVID.

He wonders why this is happening in the midst of a crisis of mental health and addiction.

“Our son could die tomorrow if he decides to use it and comes across the wrong person who sells him something: he can die,” he said.

Alberta Health Services said it needs facility staff to complement a COVID-19-strained provincial system, so it “temporarily pauses some community referrals to the concurrent concurrent disorder services program (formerly known as COVID-19). dual diagnostic program) “.

AHS told Global News that the site is about COVID-19 and that some hospitalized patients will be transferred to non-acute spaces.

“Once completed, we will review if we can accommodate some community references.”

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AHS also temporarily pauses admissions to another adult unit that offers recovery support programs for people with stabilized mental illness.

“If that happens, we will move patients to a virtual model of the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program,” AHS said. “We will work closely with patients and families to ensure they continue to receive the care and support they need.”

Lafleur described the situation of his family as devastating.

“Hope is no longer there,” he said. “It’s a disaster for us to knock on the door a few days before I could get on the show.”

He said that until he returns, they are left with no options.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/8217047/alberta-health-services-pauses-referrals/

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