New centre offers youth free mental and physical health services
A new centre in Montreal is offering children and youth free mental and physical health services — with or without an appointment. On April 24, Lionel Carmant, the Minister responsible for Social Services, officially inaugurated the Aire ouverte centre in Cote des Neiges.
Large network of support services
The centre brings together a network of services for young people aged 12 to 25 who can receive support for a wide range of issues affecting their lives. In addition to psychosocial support services, youth can get advice on studies, work, housing, lifestyle, family life, sexual health, and information on financial and legal assistance.
Professionals such as nurses or social workers are available for support. Services are free and confidential and flexible time slots are available days, evenings, and weekends, with or without an appointment. You do not need to live in the borough to use the services; the centre is open to all youth regardless of where they live..
The centre is one of the measures of the 2022-2026 Interdepartmental Mental Health Action Plan from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, which aims to “promote the optimal mental health of the population, as well as to facilitate access to quality care and services for people with mental disorders or associated symptoms, and their families.”
A budget of $40 million has been allocated to the deployment of Aire ouverte spaces in each of the 25 regions of Quebec. In addition to the new location in Cote des Neiges, the Montreal area also has centres in LaSalle, Laval, and Montreal North, with two more in development for downtown and Pointe-aux-Trembles. Eventually, all institutions (CISSS or CIUSSS) will have at least one such centre in their territory.
“The Aire ouverte program has proved its worth wherever it is deployed,” Carmant said. “It is an initiative that aims to offer youth-specific services, including mental health services, in their own environment, without an appointment. In the past year, we have noticed a decrease in the waiting list for mental health services for young people, and the deployment of Aire ouverte spaces throughout Quebec is certainly not unrelated to this. These are places that were designed for them, and with them.”
To learn more about the program visit quebec.ca/en/health/finding-a-resource/aire-ouverte.
The new centre is located at 5245 Cote des Neiges Rd. For specific information on the Cote des Neiges location and opening hours, you can look at ciussswestcentral.ca/programs-and-services/aire-ouverte.