A historic pandemic, recent tragedies like in Amqui, Rosemont, Laval… events that have marked the imagination and made people talk about mental health abound.

They leave scars on the perception we have of it, but what we must remember is above all that the needs of the population are crying out. But in fact, we who are in contact with suffering every day, we have known this for a very long time. With tens of thousands of follow-up meetings per year, putting our hearts into each one of them, we support the Johannes, Pierres and Mohameds towards their recovery, and also the youngest who are not spared, the Megan , Lea or Samuel.

While we are talking about the restructuring, centralization and optimization of the public health network, while the CLSCs are not succeeding in filling the positions of social workers and while there is a shortage of psychologists, the community asks for nothing better than Do more. And we are ready. Just give us the means!

In Montreal, for example, the eight members of the Regroupement des Organismes offering alternative community follow-up already offer approximately 46,000 follow-up meetings to 2,500 people annually. We could follow 300 more, just by calling people who are waiting on our waiting lists. The sum required is very modest. It is $1,241,000. We have the expertise, the recognition of our communities, and more flexibility than the public network to successfully hire new workers quickly. And the situation applies to many other organizations throughout Quebec.

So why direct almost all funds to the network? We are part of the solution, cost-effective and efficient, and the government must recognize this.

This is a powerful indicator of the credibility we have on the quality of our services and our ability to meet needs, despite our limited resources.

In 2022, the CAQ government delivered the Mental Health Action Plan (PASM) and the Government Action Plan for Community Action (PAGAC). That’s a lot of letters, but no significant change for us: $20,000 each. Should we laugh or cry? Even with salaries and operating costs much lower than in the network, there are limits to our power to make magic out of nothing.

Quebec is currently governed by business people. Will they know how to recognize a good investment opportunity?