Grant of nearly $665,000 from the Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés - MENTAL ILLNESS FOUNDATION LAUNCHES AWARENESS-RAISING OUTREACH PROGRAM SENIORS IN MIND

By 2014, more than 15,000 seniors, caregivers and healthcare professionals will be reached in the fight against depression among the elderly

MONTREAL, Dec. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - With nearly $665,000 in funding over the next three years from the Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés, the Mental Illness Foundation is preparing for next spring's launch of Seniors in Mind, its new outreach program aimed at fighting depression among seniors.

On December 19, Marguerite Blais, Minister responsible for Seniors, announced this important financial contribution as part of the program Soutien aux initiatives visant le respect des aînés. "With this contribution, the Foundation will be able to reach more than 15,000 people including seniors, their natural caregivers and healthcare professionals, in 500 awareness-raising and training sessions," said Jean-Luc Taschereau, president of the Mental Illness Foundation. By 2014, the team of facilitators and speakers will travel across Quebec, from Montreal to the Côte-Nord and from Abitibi to Gaspé.

These awareness-raising sessions will be provided to seniors and their caregivers at seniors' residences, and through the organizations, associations and groups seniors belong to. Training sessions will also be provided to healthcare professionals who work with seniors. With the goal of reaching as many people in need as possible, the Foundation plans to organize public conferences and make information readily available on their website.

"The grant from the Ministère de la Famille et des Aînés will allow the Foundation to fulfill our mission for seniors, alongside the programs we also provide to high school students and adults in the workplace. This is excellent news for our seniors and for society as a whole," added Mr. Taschereau.

Taking action for a better life:

  • About 100,000 people aged 65 and over living at home suffer from mood disorders, anxiety or addiction to benzodiazepine (source: Réseau québécois de recherche sur le vieillissement, Axe santé mentale, Étude ESA, 2008).

  • The vast majority of seniors experiencing suicidal thoughts are suffering from mental disorders, mainly depression.

  • With the aging of the general population, healthcare experts estimate that the suicide rate among people 65 and older will increase 248% by 2043 (source: Centre de recherche sur le vieillissement, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Sherbrooke & Université de Montréal).

  • Results from preliminary evaluation of the program revealed that seniors' knowledge and capacity to answer questions related to mental health were lacking.

About the Mental Illness Foundation
Founded in 1980 by Dr. Yves Lamontagne, the Mental Illness Foundation's mission is to prevent mental illness in order to reduce the suffering of people afflicted and that of their loved ones by mobilizing individuals and society as a whole. For more information on the Foundation, mental illness and available resources, please visit the Foundation's website at www.mentalillnessfoundation.org.

SOURCE MENTAL ILLNESS FOUNDATION

For further information:

or to schedule an interview:
Sophie Côté Laplante
Office: 514-843-2376
Cell: 514-220-1082
scotelaplante@national.ca

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MENTAL ILLNESS FOUNDATION

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