Bell Let’s Talk supports expanded mental health care in Greater Montréal

Montréal , Monday, October 3, 2016

The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund today announced grants totalling $152,000 for 9 mental health organizations in Montréal and Longueuil to help expand their services and increase access to care in Greater Montréal. Québec Ministers Gaétan Barrette and Lucie Charlebois, along with Montréal Councillor Monique Vallée, joined Pierre Rodrigue, Bell Vice President of Industry Relations, to make the announcement.

“Bell Let’s Talk is very excited to support the important work of these tremendous organizations in Montréal and Longueuil, which is making such a difference in the lives of local people living with mental illness,” said Mr. Rodrigue. “This is what the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is all about, grass roots initiatives getting care to those who need it most. We are extremely proud to be supporting a total of 26 groups across Québec with grants this year.”

The $1-million annual Bell Let's Talk Community Fund provides grants for community-based mental health initiatives improving access to care around the country, with a focus on local projects and grassroots organizations.

This year’s recipients in Greater Montréal include: AMI-Québec, Déclic, D'un couvert à l'autre (Longueuil), Fondation du CSSS Cavendish, Logis Rose-Virginie, the Le Rebond alternative mental health resource in the La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood, Les Impatients, Revivre and Tel-Aide. Since 2011, the Fund has supported more than 113 community groups in every region of Québec.

“I would like to thank Bell Let’s Talk, a valuable partner in our initiatives aimed at providing the best possible mental health services,” said Minister Barrette. “Your contribution in terms of research, workplace health and the fight to reduce stigma are aligned with our 2015–2020 mental health action plan, Faire ensemble et autrement. I would also like to congratulate all the recipient organizations on their work with people suffering from mental health problems.”

“Bell Let’s Talk deserves special recognition for its efforts in support of mental health. It is crucial that we take preventive action and help those who are suffering in silence. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the nine recipient organizations for all the work they are doing. Their presence in our community is vital,” said Minister Charlebois, Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living, and Minister responsible for the Montérégie region.

“All too often in Montréal we see that mental health issues are closely related to the problem of homelessness. The complexities of mental illness particularly affect the homeless population, while the harsh reality of living with mental health issues can sometimes unfortunately lead to the downward spiral in which homelessness results,” said Councillor Vallée, Montréal executive committee member in charge of social and community development and homelessness. “This is why we have developed a plan to fight homelessness and why we support a number of organizations tackling this problem and helping people who are grappling with mental illness and why we applaud Bell Let’s Talk for its dedication and contribution to mental health. Bell is an invaluable partner in this cause.”

“On behalf of Tel-Aide and my colleagues from the eight other recipient organizations, we would like to thank Bell Let’s Talk for its direct support of Greater Montréal residents dealing with mental health problems and their families,” added Julie Messier, Executive Director of Tel-Aide. “Thanks to Bell’s donations, our organizations will be able to continue improving front-line mental health care and services in the Montréal area. And we applaud Bell Let’s Talk, for helping to reduce the stigma of mental illness for the many people who come through our doors every day.”

About Bell Let's Talk Bell Let's Talk promotes mental health based on 4 action pillars: anti-stigma, care and access, new research, and workplace best practices. Bell Let's Talk was originally launched in September 2010 as a 5-year program with a $50 million donation from Bell, and a commitment to grow its funding based on the engagement of Canadians in the cause on Bell Let's Talk Day. In September 2015, the fifth anniversary of the initiative, Bell announced it would extend Bell Let's talk a further 5 years and commit to at least $100 million in funding for Canadian mental health.

Bell's total donation commitment to mental health has now grown to $79,919,178.55. Since 2010, Bell Let's Talk has supported more than 600 organizations from the largest healthcare institutions and universities to the smallest grassroots mental health organizations in every province and territory.

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Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis Bell Media Relations 613 785-1427 @Bell_News

Julie Messier Tel-Aide and spokesperson for the nine recipient organizations 514 947-1835

The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is supporting 9 organizations in Greater Montréal

Ami-Québec - Enhancing caregivers’ resilience The program supported by the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund includes 10 workshops to enhance caregivers’ resilience. Face-to-face workshops allow caregivers to share their experiences and experiment with new skills and strategies. Despite the abundance of information available nowadays, face-to-face contact and discussion remain an effective way to learn. The improvement of skills and acquisition of knowledge are expected to alleviate some of the burden caregivers experience.

Déclic - Mental health group therapy for young adult education students Serving a clientele of young adults with learning challenges and related problems, Déclic is a collective enterprise that provides services to support schooling and social integration. Every year, Déclic offers psychosocial assistance, counselling, coaching and therapy to some 75 individuals in an effort to support their reintegration and continued adult education. And thanks to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund , Déclic will work with school groups, providing mental health counselling and anxiety management activities to support educational achievement. For the most part, these young people with complex psychosocial profiles don’t have access to the care and assistance needed to understand, manage and treat their mental health problems through public services.

D'un couvert à l'autre - Opening up about schizophrenia With support from the Bell Let`s Talk Community Fund, the proposed program will allow individuals using the organization’s services to discuss their experiences with special education and social work students from a number of Québec CEGEPs. In addition to benefiting future mental health workers, this exercise will also allow participants to gain a better understanding of the disease and a greater self-awareness – key components of recovery.

Fondation du CSSS Cavendish - Participe-présent Participe-présent is an innovative program that promotes mental health for seniors through social participation. The program is intended for a population under-served by traditional programs: seniors grappling with mental health issues, living in isolation and social exclusion. With support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, the goal is to promote the use of community resources and services providing opportunities for seniors to enjoy fulfilling social contact and activities. The program offers participants individual meetings to determine their interests, a group workshop, as well as tours of community organizations. The thought-provoking and interactive workshops cover topics such as assertive communication, citizen participation and financial management. After the project is completed, a facilitation kit will be made available in both official languages, complete with all the necessary tools and tips to help other organizations offer the program to seniors in their regions.

Logis Rose-Virginie - Personality disorders, boosting awareness about treatment and care Support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund for specialized training will have a significant impact on the ongoing skills development of Logis Rose-Virginie representatives. The program provided by Institut Victoria over a three-year period aims to better equip representatives dealing with personality disorders and improve their therapeutic interventions with those suffering from mental illness, which is a major issue among the homeless clientele.

Le Rebond, an alternative mental health resource in the La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood - Community reception and support services The front-line service and community support project, Accueil et soutien communautaire, will provide an individualized plan for people with mental health problems within the Petite-Patrie/Villeray district. This joint initiative is based on the active participation of certain Le Rebond members who will provide attentive, hands-on support and referrals to each and every person the organization assists. Thanks to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, these members will receive appropriate training to acquire the skills to ensure that the project runs smoothly. A network of partnerships with other organizations will be developed to facilitate access to the resources required to meet individual needs (health, lodging, employment, civic engagement, etc.). Internet access will further facilitate their efforts. In the first year, this initiative hopes to reach 350 people.

Les Impatients - Development of a new workshop in Sorel-Tracy Thanks to the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund, Les Impatients will finally be able to open an art workshop dedicated to people with mental health issues in Sorel, with additional support from the Fondation Hôtel-Dieu de Sorel. Bell’s generous donation gives the project stability by ensuring its sustainability for two years. This makes a huge difference in starting up a workshop. In addition to helping direct participants, the support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund gives the Sorel community the opportunity to rally around the shared goal of helping people with mental health problems and creating beauty. The Les Impatients organization has been fulfilling its mission of providing support, through artistic expression, to people with mental health issues for the past 25 years.

Revivre - Training of workers and professionals for the implementation of self-care workshops Pursuing its mission of helping people with anxiety, depression or bipolar disorders and their families, Revivre has designed self-care workshops that are now available in eight regions of Québec. These workshops, considered by many to be true social innovations, aim to help people regain control of their health. The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will be used to train workers and professionals who work for mental health non-profit organizations. They will subsequently be able to offer the J’avance! self-care workshops in their region. That’s two more regions whose populations will have access to the workshops, for a total of 10 regions served in Québec. Support from Bell Let’s Talk will help Revivre achieve two milestones: the 2,000th participant in the workshops and the 25th city served – all coinciding with the organization’s 25th anniversary.

Tel-Aide - Listening Centre upgrade We care about our community’s mental wellness and use proven active listening techniques to help our callers. In Tel-Aide’s 45 years in existence, our listeners – all volunteers – have taken more than 1 million calls from people in distress and looking for someone to confide in. The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant will fund equipment upgrades that will vastly improve working conditions for our volunteer listeners, who are there helping at all hours of the day.