Behind the Frosted Glass Windows

By Sarah Downey, President & CEO, MGH/TEHN
Many of us have driven or walked right by and not even given a second thought about what goes on inside. In fact, from the street, 985 Danforth Avenue looks totally unremarkable.
But behind the frosted glass windows lies a place where most of us have never been. It’s a place where many a healing journey has begun. 985 Danforth Avenue is home to one of the Toronto East Health Network’s (TEHN) community sites, the Withdrawal Management Centre (WMC).
Doug Smith, Manager, WMC has seen many folks come and go – many people like you and me. Because, you see, substance abuse does not discriminate. Substance abuse affects us all. It’s not, as many people believe, something that only affects those who are poor or homeless.
And the Network’s Withdrawal Management Centre sees both men and women, aged 16 years or older from all across the city and GTA. The folks who come here are usually in a state of intoxication, withdrawing from a substance or in a crisis regarding their substance abuse.
During the recent Accreditation process, one of the surveyors came back and told me they were so impressed by the Centre. They were astounded by the work that staff like Doug and Wil Lea, one of the long-time facilitators, do to help some of the most vulnerable people in the city.
And a few weeks ago, I took the opportunity to file this Dispatches from the Frontlines Video. Thank you to Doug, Wil and most importantly the clients of the Day Withdrawal program who allowed me to witness their vulnerabilities and sit in on one of the sessions.
Please take a few moments to watch and learn about some of the services in the Toronto East Health Network.

Join me on Twitter @SarahEDowney1

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