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The circuit of care

No one is immune to experiencing mental health issues. Unfortunately, the lack of information and the misunderstanding of the mental health resources available, many people will not receive the help they need. The easiest way to access mental health services is by talking to your family doctor, or any other doctor. In general, they will refer you to the Guichet d’accès aux services en santé mental in a CLSC. Once you have this reference, present it to your neighbourhood’s CLSC so that your file can be processed by the Guichet d’accès. Once your file has been processed, a health care professional for the CLSC will contact you for an evaluation of your situation.


Following this assessment, the health care professional will guide you towards the appropriate services and you could be referred to specialized intervention programs, according to the situation. The steps to access to public mental health services are: Get a doctor’s reference for the Guichet d’accès en santé mentale. Present the reference to your neighbourhood’s CLSC. Wait for the CLSC to contact you: use other services in the meantime if need be, like crisis centers, help lines, community organizations, private services, psychiatric emergency. The delays can be long.


If the situation is urgent, refer to the”In case of Emergency” page of our website. However, if the situation is not urgent but that you do need support, there are many options. Support is available via telephone help lines that are free, confidential, and available 24/7 throughout the province. You can find a list of these phone help lines on the Association des Centres d’écoute téléphonique du Québec’s website. Many community organizations offer mental health services. Find a list of these organisations on the RACOR (Réseau alternatif et communautaire des organismes en santé mentale de Montréal)’s website. Many universities offer psychological or neuropsychological consultation services at low cost in their university’s clinic, like UQAM or Concordia University. Some psychological consultation clinics also offer services at low cost for people with low income. Find a list of these clinics on the Canadian Mental Health Association’s website, Montreal Branch. It is also possible to get private psychological support. The cost is higher, but you can receive services without having to wait. Find a list of psychologists on the Ordre des psychologues du Québec website. Self-care is important.


As a friend or family member of a person living with mental health issues, do not hesitate do get help if you feel the need. Arborescence is here to help you find the appropriate resources according to your situation.

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