MONTREAL, Dec. 8, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Driven by a sense of urgency, Dans la rue – an organization that provides assistance to youth living on the streets of Montreal –kicked off its 2015–2016 appeal today, under the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Through this campaign, Dans la rue hopes to raise public awareness about the critical state of the mental health of the majority of the youth it serves.
"More than three-quarters of the 1,500 young people who come to us every year suffer from a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or schizophrenia," said Cécile Arbaud, Executive Director of Dans la rue. "These problems emerge before the age of 25 and require a timely response. The longer these youth stay on the street, the worse their mental health will become."
An insightful team of professionals
To deal with these issues, Dans la rue has two psychologists on staff and more than 30 counsellors. "Our professionals are very vigilant when it comes to the youths' mental health. They work closely with them every day, providing them with guidance, resources and referrals so they can move forward in their life," Arbaud indicated.
Dans la rue, founded by Father Emmett "Pops" Johns, is one of the research sites for the ACCESS initiative, a Canada-wide research network aimed at improving access to mental health care for youth aged 12 to 25. "Dans la rue is the only outreach organization taking part in the project," she emphasized.
A multi-faceted approach
The scope of Dans la rue's work is considerable. It offers a wide range of programs and services to meet the needs of young people living on the street or in high-risk situations. "Through us, they have access to an emergency shelter, a school, specialized counsellors, psychologists, nurses, legal assistance, facilities where they can express themselves and be heard, referrals to other services, an integrated approach and a host of opportunities to develop their skills and tap into the resources necessary to live a richer, fuller and more independent life," Arbaud said.
Dans la rue, which today celebrates its 27th anniversary, is appealing to the community at large to make the mental health of homeless youth a priority for action. "Everyone who walks through our door has taken a huge step forward in putting street life behind them. Now it's our turn to do what it takes to help them become contributing members of society," she concluded.
2015–2016 campaign kick-off
It currently costs over $4 million every year to deliver Dans la rue's full slate of services and programs. The organization hopes to raise $4 million through its annual appeal to be able to take swift action to address the specific needs of street youth, the majority of whom are struggling with issues of mental health.
Donations can be made over the phone by calling 514-526-5222, by mail (Dans la rue, 533 Ontario Street East, Unit 450, Montreal, QC H2L 1N8) or online at www.danslarue.org
About Dans la rue
Founded by Father Emmett Johns ("Pops") in 1988, Le Bon Dieu dans la rue helps homeless and at-risk youth. With dedication, empathy and respect, and with the support of the community, Dans la rue cares for their immediate needs and helps them acquire the skills and resources needed to lead more autonomous and rewarding lives.
SOURCE Dans la rue