Medavie Health Foundation partners with Dans la rue to improve services for homeless and at-risk youth struggling with mental health conditions

At-risk youth in Montreal will have access to improved mental health supports that aim to more rapidly treat psychological distress while helping them transition away from homelessness.

Dans la rue, a community-based organization serving homeless youth, is receiving $780,000 from the Medavie Health Foundation to help transform and improve its programming and supports for youth.

The four-year initiative will focus on prevention, early detection, rapid intervention and social integration in providing wrap-around mental health supports for homeless and at-risk youth ages 12 to 25. Dans la rue, which also provides programs and services that address housing, education and employment, serves as a research site for ACCESS Open Minds, a national research project aimed at improving youth mental health care in Canada.

Quick Facts

  • Some 76% of Dans la rue youth have reported their mental health to be poor or very poor, with youth having a wide range of issues and conditions, including anxiety and behavioral disorders, PTSD, and/or difficulties related to substance abuse or addictions.
  • A recent survey on youth homelessness in Canada revealed that 85% of respondents experience high symptoms of psychological distress; 42% reported at least one suicide attempt and 35% were hospitalized at least once because of an overdose.*
  • Young people aged 13 to 24 make up approximately 20% of the homeless population in Canada. On any given night, 6,000 – 7,000 young people experience homelessness.*
  • The school drop-out rate in Canada is below 9%; for homeless youth, it is 53%.*

“A key focus of our Foundation is providing young Canadians with the supports they need to live their best lives. Ensuring at-risk and homeless youth have access to appropriate mental health care and services when and where they need it will help them on their path to resilience and independence. It’s also an example of a different kind of health care, one that doesn’t start at a doctor’s office, but in our community centres and on our streets.”

Bernard Lord, CEO, Medavie

“Rapid and comprehensive intervention is required for youth suffering from mental health challenges, especially for the homeless and at-risk youth who use the services at Dans la rue. The generous support of the Medavie Health Foundation will allow us to expand our current support systems, while also refining our expertise in responding to youth mental health issues before they become chronic and even more damaging. We are deeply grateful to Medavie for their commitment and understanding of this important issue and look forward to executing our shared vision over the coming years of this partnership.”

Cécile Arbaud, Executive Director, Dans la rue

Associated Links

Video: Dans la rue (available in French only)
ACCESS Open Minds
*Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey

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