The Douglas University Mental Health Foundation has launched a new initiative to raise money for mental health research.

Large blocks of hope have been appearing in Montreal ahead of World Mental Health Day.

They serve to remind people that mental health research is vital and is the basis for building a better health network for those with mental illness.

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Laura Fish, executive director of the Douglas Foundation, says the blocks are to help people understand that together they can build a better future for those who suffer.

“The idea is to provoke a call to action,” he says. “We don’t have a financial goal, but we want people to donate money for a cause that tends to get overlooked.”

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Fish uses the Montreal Heart Institute as an example.

“They raise approximately $ 25 million a year. At Douglas, which is the largest psychiatric teaching and research center in Quebec, the second largest in Canada, we only raised between $ 2 and $ 3 million ”.

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According to recent statistics provided by Douglas, one in three Canadians will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime, yet the subject remains taboo for many.

Mental illness accounts for about 38 percent of the illnesses of Canadians under 65, but they only receive five percent of the total amount spent on treatment and prevention.

Mental illness is the leading cause of short- and long-term disability in Canada.

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Health experts say the conversation about mental illness is getting louder as more public figures speak up and seek help.

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Last week, Montreal Canadiens goalkeeper Carey Price received a wave of support from fans after revealing that he will be taking time off to focus on his health.

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It follows Jonathan Drouin, who took a break last season and admitted he suffers from anxiety.

Dr. Gordon Bloom, a professor of sports psychologist at McGill University, says it’s important not to judge.

“Just taking the approach to this is great, it’s proactive, take care of yourself, put yourself and your family first,” he says.

Both Bloom and Fish say that no one questions a physical illness, especially when an athlete needs to sit, and they hope that in the near future those suffering from mental illness will receive the same support.

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