Listen, to take care of caregivers

We are all caregivers: nurses, social workers, orderlies, family caregivers, administrative assistants, doctors, managers, volunteers, ethicists, peer helpers, ambulance attendants, community organizers, patient partners, midwives, teachers and health researchers.

We are also parents, daughters and sons, spouses, brothers and sisters, neighbors and citizens. Sick and healthy, we take turns needing care.

In our profession as in our lives, taking care is a natural way of relating. But our ability to take care is weakened. It expresses itself in exhaustion, depression, anxiety, illnesses, loss of meaning and disengagement. Departures and resignations are just the tip of the iceberg.

The “little revolution” we need is not a financial or technological revolution, any more than structural reform. We are not short of money or praise. We are aware of our privileges and our duties.

We need a “revolution of meaning”. Need to find the heart of what drives us. Need to have time to be present, to listen, to comfort. Need space to take care of each other.


We need to be seen as human: sensitive, intelligent, engaged. Strong and fragile at the same time. Rather than as numbers and resources to be optimized.

The specter of “service disruption” cannot be used as a pretext to take power over caregivers as over machines. We are committed to healing. Compassion is our engine. An engine that runs out when it cannot recharge its batteries.

We are not miracle dealers and have no magic solutions. Nor to treat the patient suffering from an incurable disease. Nor to heal our weakened health system, recovering from one of the worst health crises in a century.

We know that wise answers to complex problems require first and foremost genuine listening. We know that we cannot heal alone: ​​neither the individual nor the system.

We need to listen. From our public decision-makers and our fellow citizens. We call for dialogue. Not those surface dialogues for PR purposes or corporate dialogue behind closed doors. We have learned to respect each other’s knowledge: experiential knowledge, professional knowledge, scientific knowledge and civic knowledge. We want to learn from each other to find solutions together, with you.

* This text is signed by around forty professionals:

Valérie Lahaie, Nurse and manager

Catherine Bouthillier, Social worker

Marie Leclaire, Psychologist

Eric Racine, Bioethicist and researcher

Julie Ménard, Primary clinical nurse

Ghislaine Rouly, Patient partner in community care

Dominique Dufour, Citizen

Catherine Purenne, Administrative Coordinator

Christine St-Onge, Midwife

Julie Lacasse, emergency nurse

Daniel Turgeon, Peer Caregiver

Jean-Pierre Daigle, paramedic

Vincent Dumez, Patient partner

Julien Roy, Nurse practitioner specializing in first line

Alain Lesage, psychiatrist and researcher

Manuel Penafiel, Community organizer

Ginette Caron, Caregiver

Émilie Lessard, Anthropologist and researcher

Geneviève Castonguay, Scientific manager

Anne Évangéline LeBlanc, Peer support

Marie-Eve Ratté, Nurse practitioner specializing in first line

Audrey L’Espérance, Research associate and scientific manager

Geneviève David, Manager

Marie-Claude Durette, Caregiver Community Project Director

Katherine Tremblay, Volunteer

Sacha Ghadiri, Associate Professor in Management

Mathieu Bouchard, Caregiver and peer support worker, postdoctoral researcher

Eleonora Bogdanova, Research assistant

Philippe Karazivan, Family doctor

Louise Normandin, Research professional

Pierre Pluye, Professor of Family Medicine, McGill University

Marie-Dominique Beaulieu, Emeritus Professor of Medicine

Nathalie Caire Fon, Director of the Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, University of Montreal

Jean-François Pelletier, Head of the peer-aid training program at the University of Montreal

Ahmed Maherzi, Director of the Office of Social Responsibility, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal

Ann C Macaulay Professor of Family Medicine, McGill University

Louis Lochhead, Patient coordinator and caregiver

Myriam Fournier-Tombs, health manager

Cathy Bazinet, communications advisor

Véronique Dubé, Nurse, professor and researcher

Marie-Eve Bouthillier, clinical ethicist

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