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Press Releases

New Addiction Prevention Program in All CECCE Schools

March 8, 2018, OTTAWA - The Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) is innovating by partnering with Maison Fraternité to hire an addiction prevention specialist to work with students in Grades 4 to 8.

The full-time specialist will focus on developing addiction prevention workshops and training staff board-wide. This large-scale prevention program also includes support for parents, giving them the tools to better answer their children’s questions and help them make good choices and enabling parents to recognize the signs of addiction.

The new prevention program is part of the CECCE’s ongoing work to provide a safe and caring environment to every one of its elementary and high school students. CECCE high schools in Ottawa already have access to the services of a psychotherapist one day a week thanks to Maison Fraternité.

CECCE Chair Johanne Lacombe noted that the board’s specialist and social workers adapt their approach depending on the age of the students, and she also emphasized the importance of providing more services at the elementary level and focusing on prevention because some students begin using drugs before puberty. She added that dedicating a full-time addiction prevention specialist to elementary schools in Ottawa as well as across the district is of vital importance.

Director of Education Réjean Sirois is confident that the program will be effective at raising the school community’s awareness of the danger of drugs. “A number of factors, such as the opioid crisis that has been taking its toll in Ottawa and the imminent legalization of cannabis in Canada, motivated the board to go ahead with this project. The safety and well-being of every student is a key priority for the CECCE, so staff see this as a good time to do more in terms of addiction prevention.”

The program implementation process is already well under way. Beginning in April, the specialist will be facilitating school-based workshops designed to give students the tools to make good choices and handle difficult situations.

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