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About Us

The Regroupement des ressources alternatives en santé mentale du Québec (RRASMQ) is a non-profit organization that includes a hundred community organizations throughout the province of Quebec.

The RRASMQ aims to support the emergence of diversity in alternative practices in mental health and to feed the mental health social community movement.

The members of the RRASMQ, known as alternative resources, work daily with and for those who are living with or have lived with mental health problems that have influence their daily lives.

These alternatives resources include support groups, crisis centers, transition houses, community support centers, hot lines, etc.

These resources identify and adhere to an alternative philosophy in mental health. Together, they are the RRASMQ and are the leaders in Alternative mental health.

A brief history

Historically, the RRASMQ has aimed to contest and question the treatments offered in psychiatry. It has contributed to the emergence of a movement of assertion and innovation connected to a different vision of mental health and the people living or having lived with mental health problems.

Having emerged at the end of the 1970s, following the deinstitutionalization, Quebec’s alternative movement in mental health was inspired by a North American movement of anti-psychiatry that questioned the authority of psychiatry in the medical world.

It is thanks to the historic alliances of groups with experience in psychiatrics and the diverse organizations committed to the defense of rights that the RRASMQ was born in 1983. The people who made up these organizations shared and proposed a different vision of mental health, the care and the treatments offered in psychiatry as well as the place occupied in society by the people living or having lived with mental health issues.

The RRASMQ was developed around a vision protesting the biomedical approach which emphasizes the pathological dimensions of the mental health problems. Over the years, the alternative identity built itself more and more actively and positively from the practices and the approaches that emerged from the alternative resources.


Alternative philosophy in mental health

The Alternative is first and foremost a philosophy, a vision of the world, an "other" look regarding mental health and the people that live or who lived with problems of mental health.

The Alternative also shares a common attitude of respect for the people, their personal history and their reality through a positive and not a pathological vision of the mental health.

The Alternative rests on the belief that there is solidarity between the individuals and the community who contribute to the greater well-being. It also believes that any community possesses a potential growth for the people.

The Alternative questions the biomedical culture of the mental health, which focuses especially on the disease rather than health. It remains critical of medical knowledge and of the models of rehabilitation and of treatments used in psychiatry.

The Alternative questions the social culture which puts the focus on the performance and the productivity of the individuals. It acts within the autonomous community movement.

Somewhere else and differently

"Somewhere else and differently" is the slogan for the alternative movement in mental health in Quebec. It is inspired by the speech of supporters of the deinstitutionalization and signifies a will to develop resources somewhere else than in asylums, and its practices differ from those of the psychiatric institutions.

"Somewhere else" means places and spaces in the community. These places and spaces are inseparable of an "other" way of welcoming the people and of conceiving mental health. To believe in "somewhere else", is also to believe that there is something else which was not explored yet or not discovered and that it is always possible to go farther.

"Differently" comes true through a diversity of the manners to be and to do in the alternative resources which distinguish themselves from what is offered to the people in the traditional services of psychiatry. To believe in "differently", is also to believe that it is always possible to change the world and to improve it.


Alternative resources

Here is a list of the alternative resources who offer bilingual services:

Regroupement des ressources alternatives en santé mentale du Québec
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