A word from FGM – January 2021

Let me first start off this New Year by wishing you good health! That wish obviously has special meaning this year, as the pandemic still rages on. That is why I’ve chosen to talk to you about health, but more specifically about mental health. As you know, the ramifications of COVID-19 laid bare both the acute needs and the lack of resources in this crucial area. Recent studies indicate that the prevalence of various mental health issues may have doubled, and even tripled or quadrupled among certain groups, over the course of the last few months.

What makes this so tragic is that Quebec in general, and Greater Montréal in particular, were experiencing a period of relative progress in terms of mental health, as revealed by our Vital Signs report. In Quebec, the percentage of the population having experienced depression at least once dropped from 14.6% in 2002 to 12.2% in 2012. As well, suicide rates have been in constant decline since the late 1990s. The island of Montréal, as well as the surrounding regions, were posting some of the lowest rates in Quebec.

Lots of work to be done

Of course, there are still plenty of areas where we have not been seeing any improvement. A still-higher proportion of women report that they are experiencing mental health problems, an indication that their burdens continue to be too heavy. As well, suicide rates among men remain higher, a sign that access to mental health care is still problematic.

Incidentally, Montrealers still, on the whole, are less likely to have a regular primary care provider than the average Quebecer. And last but not least, young people are increasingly afflicted by mental health issues. In Montréal, the prevalence of anxiety, depression and eating disorders rose among all secondary school cohorts between 2010 and 2016.

In short, the pandemic has made troubled waters even more turbulent. We collectively have our work cut out for us in meeting the challenge posed by mental health issues. That is why FGM is so proud work on new partnerships. These constitute just some of the building blocks we’ve recently added to our edifice. This year, we will continue to work hard, with you, to add others. Thank you for your support. Wishing you a good year!

Karel Mayrand
President and CEO
Foundation of Greater Montréal

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FGM’s Stories of the Month

January 2021

The Green Shield Canada Community Impact Funds

The Foundation of Greater Montréal joins 11 other community foundations participating in Green Shield Canada’s Social Impact Program across Canada to support access to mental and dental health care.

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Les Petits Renards

Les Petits Renards, a Verdun community social pediatrics centre, lends a hand to vulnerable families and supports children in order for them to develop their full potential in life.

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