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Umbrellas Program

Are you pregnant or have a child age 0-6?
Are you concerned about your drug or alcohol use?

At ASYR we focus on you, not just the addiction. You are bigger than your addiction. You are not defined by your addiction.

We understand controlling the use of drugs or alcohol can be difficult without support. We also know the stigma you may be feeling. We believe in hope, respect, understanding your strengths and valuing your choices.

Let’s talk.

Did You Know? There is no known amount of alcohol that is safe to consume during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. We recognize that women may use drugs or alcohol to cope with difficult situations and are here to help you work through it.

The Umbrellas Program will provide a confidential and comprehensive community based service, which will include a client centred approach, substance use assessment as per guidelines of the agency and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, substance use treatment including individual, couple, family support and group approach when applicable.

What We Offer
The Umbrellas Program offers information on:

  • How using drugs, alcohol or medication affects a baby
  • How to stop using drugs or alcohol
  • Should you stop using prescribed medications
  • If it is more dangerous to stop than to keep using drugs or alcohol

As well as:

  • Counselling
  • Parenting and Substance Use Group
  • Working with you to create a treatment program to meet your goals
  • Contact with other services, such as financial assistance
  • Collaborate with York Region Children's Aid Society (YRCAS)

Program Philosophy:

The Umbrellas program offers unique programming to mothers with young children and pregnant women suffering from substance dependence (0 to 6 years of age) within York Region. Many substance-dependent mothers often feel judged as mothers. They often hesitate to seek treatment for fear that they will lose legal custody of their children. Treatment focuses on attending to stigma, guilt, trauma, dysfunction and empowering and improving parenting. It focuses on supporting mothers by removing barriers and establishing linkages to integrated supports and services for both women and children.

Service Design:

The program services are designed to support the recovery, health, and well-being of the persons or families served. The services also enhance the quality of life of the person served and build resilience. The services are designed and implemented to reduce symptoms and restore or improve functioning of a person struggling with addiction issues. Services are designed and implemented to support the integration of the person served into the community.

Treatment Modality:

The main treatment modality is the Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual model.  All counsellors are skilled in the basic counselling techniques of paraphrasing, reflection of feelings, summarizing, and a trauma informed approach to counselling in conjunction with other forms of therapeutic intervention. Other treatment modalities are Solution-Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Emotion-Focused Therapy (EBT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Therapy, and Psychoeducation. The implementation of the service is assessed by administering client experience questionnaires as well as reviewing the treatment plan with the client.

Credentials of Staff:

Our counsellors in the Umbrellas program vary in their credentials. Some have a college diploma in addictions. Others have Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees in counselling, psychology, social work, or couple and family therapy. All staff belong to a regulatory body such as a professional college. The two main colleges are the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers and the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario.

Target Population:

The target population in the Umbrellas Program is for women aged 16 and older who are pregnant and/or parenting young children aged 0 to 6 years of age.

Populations Served:

The Umbrellas program is open to women who have a substance use concern, at any point in their pregnancy and/or parenting young children 0 to 6 years of age. The Umbrellas program honors women’s reproductive choices and does not exclude them from accessing services regardless of what their choices are. The program is voluntary with clients referring themselves. Referrals from other community agencies, such as a Children’s Aid Society and Parole and Probation Offices, are accepted with the client’s consent.

Men are served through this program only in cases where the female service user is seeking couple’s counselling. 

We Also Offer

The Bridges to Moms Program: 

  • A partnership with the Black Creek Community Health Centre and the Jean Tweed Centre
  • In addition to providing counselling and support services based on principles and values of the Umbrellas Program the BTM program offers the unique Moms and Kids Too Treatment Program:
  • A Family-Centered, mother and child focussed, 7 week program (3 days/week) 
  • Breakfast and lunch are provided
  • Group counselling, parenting workshops, childcare, parenting support
  • Information and referrals

 How the Program Works

  • The Umbrellas Program, as well as the BTM Program, fast-tracks access to appointments (there is no wait list).
  • You will meet with a counsellor who will evaluate your situation and work with you to develop the best treatment plan.
  • You will be given access to information such as pre-natal and post-natal care, domestic violence, drugs and their effects, and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
  • You will have individual counselling sessions to work on your treatment plan.

To access this service:
Contact an Intake Coordinator at 905-841-7007 ext 322
or 1-800-263-2288 ext. 322
Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday - Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 4:30pm

Bridges to Moms Program Contact:
Tharshiga Elankeeran, M.A at: 647-883-0119

The following groups can be accessed through the Umbrellas Program:

Who We Help

  • Women who are pregnant
  • Women with children under six-years-old
  • Women concerned about their drug or alcohol use

How We Help

The Umbrella Program offers:

  • Treatment
  • Confidential Counselling
  • Assessments
  • Advocacy
  • Home Visits
  • Financial Assistance
  • Aftercare

Where We Help

ASYR services all of York Region. Our offices can be found in:

  • Keswick
  • Aurora
  • Markham
  • Thornhill
  • North York