Preventing adolescent depression: 1 million for the future

An announcement that brings hope during the National Mental Health Week, May 2 to 8, 2016

MONTREAL, May 3, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disease and disability in adolescents, and suicide is one of the five leading causes of death among young people.1 More than ever, raising awareness among teenagers about the signs and symptoms of depression is essential. That's why the Mental Illness Foundation is proud to announce that since the creation of the Partners for Life program in 1998, 1 million young Quebecers have learned to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression.

As stated by Dr. Yves Lamontagne, founder of the Mental Illness Foundation: "There is no program comparable to Partners for Life in Quebec in terms of size, accessibility and longevity. We educate about 50,000 high school students each year; this is a critical mass that has allowed our message to spread and educate an entire generation on the symptoms of depression. We must redouble our efforts, for it is now the turn of future adolescent generations to benefit from our program."

Concrete actions to help young people
One million for the future is 1 million young people who will become conscientious and compassionate adults with regards to mental health and who, in turn, can help those nearest and dearest to them. This is a group whose size is equivalent to 47 times the capacity of the Bell Centre and 15 times the capacity of the Olympic Stadium. For 18 years, our experienced facilitators have traveled everywhere in the province and organized 24,521 free events in 861 schools. Together, they traveled the equivalent distance of two round trips from Earth to the moon, and this is only the beginning!

In addition to informing and educating young people about the signs and symptoms of depression, the Partners for Life program draws attention to the resources available in the community and emphasizes the importance of talking to someone you trust in order to obtain help.  Knowing that depression can have several consequences, including dropping out of school, drug and alcohol abuse, and increased suicide risk, it is vital that we act now.

A significant investment from our partners
This major achievement would not have been possible without the constant support of our partners and donors, all of which have enabled the Foundation to continue to offer this program free of charge.

About the Mental Illness Foundation
Founded in 1980, the Mental Illness Foundation's mission is to promote mental health, raise awareness of the importance of preventing mental illness, and contribute to reducing the suffering of those affected. The heart of its mission is reflected in its Partners for Life program, which aims to educate young people, parents and high-school staff of secondaries 3, 4 and 5 across the province about mental illness, and specifically depression in adolescence. Each year, 50,000 young people and adults benefit from the Mental Illness Foundation and all funding required to carry out these actions is due to the generous donations from the public. The Foundation also provides a directory of online resources, which includes more than 1,000 mental health organizations.


1 "Health for the world's adolescents" (La santé pour les adolescents du monde), World Health Organization, May 14, 2014



For further information: interview requests: Line Bellavance, Director of Communications, Tel.: 514 529-5354 ext. 226, Cell.: 514 889-0132, Email:


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