At a time when mental health issues are being felt more than ever in Quebec, Interligne’s night helpline is under threat. Unless we receive positive responses to the many funding requests made, our organization will be forced to close this service on March 31.
One of these requests, addressed to the CAQ government two years ago, still remains unanswered. However, the role of the government is essential, since it is the only grantor able to offer recurring funding that would help to sustain our service.
Currently, Interligne’s funding is mainly linked to calls for projects. Although this type of funding is essential for the organization, it obliges it to be in a constant culture of development, without ever stabilizing its main mission.
In addition, the increases granted in support of the mission are minor due to a dominant culture of scattering among all the organizations in Quebec. If we compare Interligne to other equivalent resources, specializing in youth or suicide prevention, we see that Interligne receives about a third of what these organizations receive in recurring funding.
Founded in 1980, Interligne was first born under the name of Gai Listen. Since its first day, our organization has played a unique and indispensable role in mental health with marginalized communities and those around them. Operated by and for LGBTQ people, Interligne can count on an intervention team made up of academics in the fields of psychology, social work and sexology. This distinctive element, unlike public bodies, highlights the importance of supporting our service.
While our organization sees its night service threatened with closure, the Legault government nonchalantly argues that the 811 line will take over if the Interligne service disappears.
It is important to remember that LGBTQ people are overrepresented in mental health issues because of the stress they experience. In the current societal context, it seems more than obvious to me that no one has any advantage in seeing such an essential and specialized resource disappear. It is therefore essential that the underfunding of Interligne, which has persisted for decades, cease to allow the organization to fully carry out its mission. It should be noted that because of this underfunding, the people who carry out Interligne’s mission do so under difficult salary conditions, which perpetuates discrimination against these minorities.
On the eve of the tabling of the 2023-2024 budget, Interligne needs more than ever an act of leadership from the Government of Quebec to break the status quo. Can LGBTQ people using Interligne’s night service finally count on your government, Mr. Legault?