MONTREAL, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - As part of the 22st Suicide Prevention Week (http://semaine.aqps.info), which runs from February 5 to 11, 2012, the Mental Illness Foundation wishes to reiterate the importance of preventing depression, which is the main risk factor for suicide as well as other issues.
The Foundation is pleased to partner with the Association québécoise de prévention du suicide (AQPS) and wants to their theme, "In our community, we care; suicide is not an option". ''We want to remind all Quebecers that suicide is not a problem for select individuals: rather, it is a societal problem that we must all stand up to. At the Mental Illness Foundation, we believe it is crucial to encourage people in distress to seek help and to support and empower the families of these individuals to contribute to prevention.'' declared Dr. Martin Tremblay, Chairman of the Board of the Mental Illness Foundation and spokesperson for the AQPS awareness campaign.
According to data published by the National Public Health Institute of Quebec, there are 1,100 cases of suicides in Quebec each year, an average of three per day. Again this year, The Mental Illness Foundation recommends the 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553) intervention hotline, which is free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition to free public lectures, the Foundation offers various programs to inform the public and raise awareness about mental illnesses:
- Partners for Life is an outreach program offered in 690 schools throughout Quebec, with the primary goal of preventing teen depression among teenagers aged 14 and up, parents and teachers;
- The Nothing's Working program offers training courses for managers and lectures for employees to help them better manage mental health problems in the workplace;
- Seniors in Mind is the Foundation's new awareness program for anxiety and depression among seniors. The facilitators offer lectures and training courses for seniors, caregivers, and health professionals, as well as several information tools.
The Mental Illness Foundation also wishes to acknowledge the exceptional achievement of its Partners for Life program. To this day, the program has raised awareness of 750 000 teens regarding depression, the leading cause of youth suicide. To recognize this accomplishment, the Foundation will hold a press conference at Cavelier-De LaSalle High School on Tuesday, February 7, at 10 am.
What to do in an emergency
The Mental Illness Foundation wishes to highlight different courses of action to take when a person (oneself or a loved one) shows signs of a suicidal crisis.
|In a crisis when the individual cannot wait more than a few minutes:|
|1)||Dial 911. With the help of regional centres for suicide prevention (Les centres de prévention du suicide), the situation will be analysed on the spot and help will be dispatched.|
|| Almost all general and specialized hospitals in Quebec have a psychiatrist available for emergency assessments.
|For a person in distress but who can wait 48-72 hours:|
|3)||Call the free intervention hotline at 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.|
|4)||Call or visit your local CLSC to access their psychosocial services.|
|5)||If the person in distress refuses help, the family can request an order for a psychiatric evaluation with the help of a CLSC. The person in question will consequently receive an evaluation from a psychiatrist.|
|| Thanks to its referral service, the Mental Illness Foundation can recommend resources to provide help and support anywhere in Quebec:
|7)||Information and Referral Centre of Greater Montreal may refer patients to the most appropriate resource. Please visit http://www.info-reference.qc.ca/index_a.html or call 514-527-1375.|
|8)||For associations offering assistance, the FFAPAMM (Fédération des familles et amis de la personne atteinte de maladie mentale) may provide help to friends and families at 1 800 323-0474.|
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 afflicted people and 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.
As part of the National Suicide Prevention Week, scientific spokespersons and members of the Mental Illness Foundation are available to the media to discuss topics related to mental illness and suicide.
For further information:
Sophie Barbeau 514 529-5354, ext. 229