For immediate release

Ottawa, March 22, 2022 — The French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario (“the Réseau”) and Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre (Amethyst) are pleased to announce a major step forward for French language mental health and addiction services: Amethyst was recently designated under Ontario’s French Language Services Act.

This means that Amethyst’s Addiction Treatment, Problem Gambling, and Health Promotion programs will henceforth be offered in French.

This designation means that more women-identified and gender-diverse individuals will be able to access mental health and addiction services in their own language in Ottawa. These services are free-of-charge and requests can be made by calling 613-563-0363.

Becoming designated under the French Language Services Act is a long-term endeavour as designated health service providers must carefully and fully develop and structure their French language services.

Designated health care agencies must comply with a series of requirements that ensure they have the capacity to provide French language services that are available at all times, offered in an equitable fashion, and equivalent to the quality of services offered in English. Designated agencies must also submit a statement of compliance every three years to demonstrate that they still meet designation requirements. As legal recognition, designation is rather like a seal of quality for French language health services.


“Being designated as a bilingual health agency in Ottawa means that our clients can feel comfortable in reaching out to us in whatever official language they choose. It’s important for folks to feel comfortable in expressing themselves and knowing that they are understood – both culturally and linguistically.”– Jeannette F. Muzinga, Health Promotion Coordinator, Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre

“The Réseau would like to congratulate Amethyst on the scope of the work accomplished. This is excellent news for Francophone clients, who will be able to count on receiving services in French! This is a fundamental issue for us: when it comes to mental health and addiction services, communication is key to recovery. This is why access to French language services is crucial for Francophones; it is a matter of equity, safety and quality of care. For when we are ill, we are not bilingual.”– Jacinthe Desaulniers, Chief Executive Officer, French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario

To learn more about services offered in French by Amethyst, please consult the designated program descriptions.

To learn more about designation and the benefits it offers the Francophone community, please consult the Réseau’s FAQs on designation under the French Language Services Act.

— 30 —

Information: Amethyst Women’s Addiction Centre:
Lois Ross
Community Relations Coordinator

French Language Health Services Network of Eastern Ontario:
Marianne St-Jacques
Chief of Communications