Working in Laval over the last four years in the sectors of Education, Health and Social Services and backed up by three forums in Laval (2011/2012), I've noticed that one concern that is on the rise is CAREGIVERS. Caring for the aged, friends, or family members with conditions like having an intellectual handicap or Autism, mental illness, physical handicap or medical condition requiring intensive care places stress on caregivers.

In this second issue of Laval Families Magazine, we will touch upon issues surrounding caregivers for the mentally ill friend or family members. we also included a full list of mental health resources, which you can find in the Family Resource Directory section and more mental health resources online, on our website;

Estimates suggest that, in any given year, about one in every five people living in Canada will experience diagnosable mental health problems or illnesses. They can occur at any point in one’s life, affecting infants, children and youth, adults and seniors. No one is immune, no matter where they live, what their age, or what they do in life. This means that just about every family in the country will be directly affected, to some degree, by mental illness.

Laval Families Magazine is collaborating with AMI-Quebec, to announce a NEW FREE SERVICE; English one on one counseling for caregivers of the mentally ill for Laval-Lanaudiere-Laurentian and across Quebec.

Sadly, caregivers often live in the shadows due to shame and stigma. Having a mental illness can be an isolating, often harrowing experience. It is especially difficult to find resources for families and loved ones who must deal with anger, confusion and sadness that accompanies so many of these diseases.

Ella Amir, Executive Director at AMI-Quebec, explains that the "main issue is the support for caregivers. Caregivers in my opinion are the real people who fall through the cracks.There are shortages of services in many regions for people with mental illnesses and especially for caregivers”.

At AMI-Quebec one can choose to remain anonymous. Without judgment AMI-Quebec can help you resolve whatever issue you are facing at the moment - from crisis management and planning for a loved one's future, to helping you understand the different illnesses. Services offered include the tele-workshops, videoconferencing and individual counseling over the telephone and Skype.

For more information;
Toll free across Quebec 1-877-303-0264
Montreal 514-486-1448