30 years of existence for Drugs: Help and Referral!
Hélène Hamel, Director of the Specialized Addiction Helplines, will retire on April 14, 2022, after 23 years of service at the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal.
Hello to you all, dear long-standing or more recent partners of the specialized addiction helplines, Drugs: Help and Referral and Gambling: Help and Referral.
I am here today to say goodbye, as I have made the decision to retire and make way for the wonderful people that have accompanied me these past years. These past two decades have given me immense professional and personal gratification, thanks namely to the partnerships that have grown throughout those years as well as the relationships established with my employees, colleagues and directors.
I have the good fortune of welcoming this next chapter in my life with happiness and joy. Happiness at knowing that the helplines will be led by someone whom I regard highly, who knows how to surround herself with the best and who will carry on the mission of the telephone and chat services and even take it above and beyond. Her appointment will be announced on April 11th. And joy at being able to devote more time to my children, my four granddaughters, my friends, my cultural and recreational activities and my volunteering, etc.
I must admit, dear partners, that I will greatly miss our meetings, our discussions, our collaborations and our common reflections all with the goal of continuously improving the services offered to people with an addiction. I thank you all and wish you as much professional joy as I have experienced by your side these past years.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal, my behalf, and that of the IRCGM employees, we wish Hélène Hamel a happy retirement! May she continue to share her many talents and human qualities.
And of those, she has many! On top of 23 years at IRCGM, she has also trained about 60 substance abuse counselors. She has led them towards empathic and rigorous interventions, without judgement. She taught them to continuously remain informed of the numerous changes to counseling, public health, work tools… It is not nothing: she leaves behind a true legacy for society and those with an addiction.
During the past two decades, IRCGM has benefited from her skills, her qualities as a woman, colleague and friend. With her infectious cheerfulness, always ready to lend an ear, while being profoundly human, her presence amongst us has been incredibly nice.
After 23 years of being around her, the last thirteen at the helm of the specialized services in addiction, we are very sad to see her go. But at the same time, we are very happy that she is moving on to this next chapter in her life with her loved ones while carving out some quality time for her passions, such as volunteering.
Thank you for all that you have accomplished here Hélène, thank you for your unwavering support of your colleagues, thank you for supporting me during the new direction IRCGM has taken throughout this last decade. Finally, you have our deepest gratitude for the mark you will be leaving on Drugs: Help and Referral, Gambling: Help and Referral and TeleCounseling. We wish you all the best.
Pierrette Gagné, Executive Director of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal
The Board of Directors of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal
The team of the Information and Referral Center of Greater Montréal