Five years ago, my big adventure began. Thanks to a bursary from the Foundation, I received a clinical fellowship from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College at the University of London, in Great Britain. The goal of the two years I spent in London was to broaden my knowledge in the fields of psychiatric rehabilitation and the organisation of ambulatory services in a world-class educational and research environment.

My experience in Great Britain was incredibly rich and made it possible for me to hold, since my return to the Institute, the positions of medical coordinator in the psychotic disorder program and now as co‑medical manager of customized and specialized services for the Mental Health and Addiction Program at the CIUSSS in the east end of Montreal Island.

The Foundation has made a major contribution to the completion of the project in the interests of the patients of our institution.

Luigi De Benedictis | Psychiatrist
Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal

The Foundation’s help enabled my team to summarize studies published worldwide on the effects of alcohol and cocaine on attention spans, learning, memory and organisational abilities. The results of these studies had an influence on the development of drug-addiction treatments.  

Thanks to the Foundation, we were the first team to study, with the help of brain imagining, the cravings of people with schizophrenia to smoke cigarettes.

Finally, the Foundation enabled us to develop a new therapy which consists of using virtual reality to attenuate the suffering caused by auditory hallucinations of people with schizophrenia.

Stéphane Potvin | Researcher
Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal

For me, the Foundation of the IUSMM is synonymous with innovation. The Foundation’s help enabled us not only to develop +Fort, a mobile app that supports young victims of intimidation but also led to the first empirical study of its usefulness.

The confidence shown by the Foundation towards the project also made it possible to create other information platforms that harness a vast array of information and knowledge, for example an Internet site and guide for parents and practitioners.

Thanks to the support of the Foundation, my colleagues and I will be able to offer the +Fort mobile app for free to the general public in the fall of 2016.

Isabelle Morin-Ouellet | Researcher
Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal

Our crisis resolution team accompanies clients during their recovery.

Our goal is to offer hope to those people to whom we provide help and to give them back the will to live.

The Foundation has supported people for whom it has been extremely difficult to retake control of their lives and who have been unable to fulfill their own basic needs. These are the success stories of people who were able to get hold of themselves and look to the future with hope.

Mrs. Gagnon (an assumed name) had tried to commit suicide. At 60 years of age, she no longer had a place of her own and found herself in the streets. The Foundation helped her move her personal belongings into an apartment that she should be able to pay and where she will feel good about herself. She has regained hope and started living again.

Mr. Caron (an assumed name) lived alone in his apartment for many years with a psychotic decompensation. He was hardly eating anything and had difficulty moving around because of problems with his feet. Thanks to the Foundation, we were able to take care of his basic needs while he took the time to regain control over his life and to find strategies to take care of himself. At one time or another, we can all lose our way.  Thanks to the Foundation for offering this glimmer of hope that will allow a phoenix to rise again.

Ambulatory Team | A concerted plan of action for clients in emergency situations
Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal

Normal people are unable to understand what schizophrenia really is. It is hard to know what really goes on inside the head of someone who has hallucinations on a regular basis and who hears voices. This explains why people like me are marginalised and cast aside.

However, schizophrenia is not an end in-and-of itself. The rehabilitation process is long and difficult. The possibilities of pulling through and feeling better appear so illusory. Learning how to live with a serious mental health disorder is a never-ending challenge, but with help and willpower, it is possible to pull through.

To stop trying is probably the biggest mistake you can make. If you don’t want to pull through, no-one will be able to help you. However, once you accept the support that is offered, anything becomes possible.

The support of the Foundation, the Institute and of the people who work there has been vital throughout my recovery. Without the support of the team looking after me, I might not actually be here today. The people who cared for me always believed in my potential. Slowly but surely, all the activities I took part in during my stay in hospital gave me my confidence back. I realized that I am truly able to devote my efforts to a particular project and be true to the commitments I made. For the first time in my life, I felt proud of myself. 

Without the help of others, I would have never found the willpower to return to the classroom and finish high school. I would also have never found the courage to find and live in my own apartment.

These days, I am finally able to find some inner peace and serenity.

Serguei L. | User

I coordinate a team of professionals who work in the community with young people 18 years and older with live at home and suffer from a mental health disorder. What led me to work in mental health was the passion. I always knew that I wanted to work in psychiatry because that was the field where I felt I could make a difference.

The idea behind my project is to get young people to change their lives. To do so, it takes a lot of listening, patience and understanding. I always consider these people as individuals in their own right and I see potential in all of them. In general, you know that everyone will have highs and lows but you really have to take that into consideration when caring for people with a mental health disorder because they are so fragile emotionally.  

When they listen to what we have to say and they realize that we are there for them, that makes all the difference. We see the changes taking place and it is heartwarming to see the progress they are making. I truly hope that this will continue and that we go even further to help these people who all too often do not have access to the resources they need when they require help.

Janine Casimir | Nurse

Our testimonials

Luigi De Benedictis
Stéphane Potvin
Isabelle Morin-Ouellet
Ambulatory Team
A concerted plan of action for clients in emergency situations
Serguei L.
Janine Casimir


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