Project will enhance mental health access for multicultural communities

_BellLetsTalkOn Jan. 18, 2017, Bell Let’s Talk announced a donation of $250,000 to McGill University’s Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital – known as The Neuro – to fund the development of online mental health resources focused on the needs of multicultural communities.

“Bell Let’s Talk is delighted to support this innovative project by one of Montréal’s leading institutions to facilitate access to mental health services for Canadians from diverse backgrounds,” said Martine Turcotte, Bell’s Vice Chair, Québec. “We congratulate The Neuro for their leadership in developing new approaches to serve the mental health needs of multicultural communities here in Québec and across Canada.”

The 3-year project will enhance the online Multicultural Mental Health Resource Centre at, expanding language options and content in Arabic, Farsi, Mandarin and other languages, and adding resources for adolescents, young adults and family members of people living with a mental illness.

“Mental health is often viewed differently in different cultures, which requires culturally sensitive approaches to reach out to those seeking help,” said Dr. Laurence Kirmayer, James McGill Professor, Director of the Division of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill, and project leader. “With this generous gift from Bell Let’s Talk, we will draw on our extensive research to support diverse communities and strengthen and develop our online platform, to better reach those in need and make this resource truly national.”

“The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital is uniquely positioned to lead this project based on its understanding and treatment of the entire spectrum of brain disorders,” said Dr. Guy Rouleau, Director of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. “Thanks to the support of Bell Let’s Talk, we can pursue new ways to reach more people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other devastating mental health conditions, which have a terrible human and economic impact across the country.”

Information and tools will be developed for several different groups of users including primary health care practitioners, consumers, patients, caregivers and community organizations. The gift will also support the development of an interactive kiosk at The Neuro where patients and clinical staff can access the website.

“We are thrilled that Bell Let’s Talk is lending its support to The Neuro so that it may increase services to our fellow citizens from diverse cultural communities,” said Monique Vallée, Ville de Montréal’s executive committee member in charge of social and community development and homelessness. “Considering that 1 in 3 Montréalers was born outside of Canada and that over 200 languages are spoken here, this is truly a timely initiative.”

“I’m happy to see Bell Let’s Talk getting behind The Neuro and helping to make mental health services more accessible to people from various cultural communities,” said Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health and Social Services. “This is a perfect complement to our own efforts to refocus the health and social services network’s service offering on the population’s actual needs, particularly with our 2015–2020 action plan for mental health.”

“No matter where we come from, no one is immune to mental health problems. An initiative such as that of The Neuro, which pays particular attention to the specific needs of ethnocultural communities, reiterates the importance of being open to others in order to understand them and provide them with the support they need,” said Kathleen Weil, Québec’s Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness. “It also reflects the provincial government’s desire to make sure every community is taken into account and to establish trust and solidarity amongst Québecers of all backgrounds.”

January 18, 2017