annual report 20-21
message from the Executive Director
The year 2020-2021 was, of course, a pandemic year. From the start of the outbreak, COVID-19 shook people’s lives to the core, upended the way society had previously functioned, and exacerbated the presence of anxiety and depression among the population. Mental health became a national priority.
In this most unusual context, Relief quickly adapted its service offering to a virtual format. Each member of our team rolled up their sleeves to continue supporting people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, and their loved ones, despite the challenges introduced by the pandemic.
Within a month, our services, which were previously only offered faceto- face, went online—everything from individual consultations to selfmanagement workshops and support groups. This adaptation was necessary during the health crisis in order to both preserve the quality of our individual and group interventions and meet the growing demand.
Relief interventions increased by 30% in 2020-2021. Yet thanks to an experienced team and the ability to respond even more quickly to calls for assistance, Relief was able to rise to this challenge with its characteristic empathy.
Our team also began offering specific support in workplaces to better meet the needs of organizations. The goal has been to create healthy and balanced environments, to foster work climates free of prejudice and open to discussion, and to empower employees and managers in the area of self-management.
In closing, I would be remiss if I left out our other big piece of news in 2020- 2021—to mark our organization’s 30-year anniversary, we have changed our name from Revivre to Relief. In addition to resonating in English and in French, our new name reflects our journey, vision and approach.
Despite this transformation, our mission remains unchanged: to support people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, and their loved ones, so they can keep moving forward. Though our name has changed, at our core, we have not: we are the same team, providing the same support. We have merely given ourselves the means to do even more to support people on the path to mental health.
Revivre becomes Relief
“If the pandemic was the earthquake, then the surge in mental health problems is the tsunami that’s now bearing down on us.”
— Jean-Rémy Provost, Executive Director
Since the start of the pandemic, mental health has become a hot topic with the media and politicians alike.
There’s no doubt that the situation affected us all. But it was especially challenging for people who were already suffering from anxiety, depression or bipolarity. The outcome? A significant increase in calls from people in distress.
We carried out 16,000 interventions in 2019—a number that’s since risen by 30%.
On top of managing this increase, we also had to contend with the health measures, pivoting to online self-management workshops and support groups.
Luckily, going virtual with our services was already part of our growth strategy, along with several other changes planned before the pandemic hit.
post-pandemic changes in the works
Relief is always looking for ways to do more for people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, and their loved ones, which is why we created a growth and marketing department.
One of the department’s main tasks was to spearhead our name change and new brand image, which they did with help from the team at Cossette..
“Without Cossette, Revivre could have never become Relief. Using words, images and emotions, their team succeeded in capturing the essence of who we are today and who we want to become tomorrow. Their outstanding work, very generously provided to us free of charge, certainly did them proud!”
— Josée St-Amand, Director, Growth and Marketing
We wanted a name that resonates in both English and French and that will allow us to expand our reach throughout Canada, but also—and above all—that reflects our journey, our vision and our approach.
So that’s how Relief came to be—to support people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity on the long and winding road of mental health, with its ups and downs, its mountains and valleys. To help them find their own version of relief every day.
The J’avance! program was also revamped as “self-management workshops” to emphasize the central role of the self-management approach in our five workshops.
All of these changes were crystallized on our new website, which was launched in April 2021, to close out our fiscal year.
Whether on television, radio or in the form of press articles, podcasts, documentaries, Relief was under the spotlight throughout the year!
Learn more about Relief news
Self-management is more than just an “approach”— it is the very DNA of Relief. It is what defines us as an organization and sets us apart as a forward-thinking innovator. And it lies at the core of all the services we offer to help people learn to live with anxiety, depression or bipolarity.
Self-management is about regaining power over our mental health.
our services in action
“I chanced on Relief while searching the Internet for resources. Little did I know that my participation in a depression self-management workshop would prove incredibly helpful, motivating and meaningful. Thanks to my involvement and the tremendous support of the team, I was able to significantly change the way I managed my depression. The workshop’s content is very interesting and helpful. The facilitators’ respect and compassion make for a safe and trusting atmosphere. I am profoundly grateful to have benefited from this rich resource, which helps us learn to better manage our lives. Thank you, Relief!”
― Carolyn, participant in the Living with depression self-management workshopLearn more about Relief services
self-management workshops offered across Québec
The workshops have been offered by Relief for the past 10 years and made available on a large scale since 2014 through a network of partners. As of now, 77 organizations offer the self-management workshops in 56 cities through 88 points of service across 15 regions of Quebec.
the year 2020-2021 in figures:
"I feel privileged to lead virtual workshops for anxiety self-management.
The support is excellent whenever I have technical, logistical or
intervention-related questions. The quality of the facilitation materials is
― Marie-Hélène Beloin-Kelly, social worker Communautés Solidaires, Québec
Learn more about our partners network
the multiplying effect of self-management training
Relief offers training for professionals and organizations working with people who live with anxiety, depression or bipolarity. Upon completing the training, professionals are able to lead selfmanagement workshops and incorporate selfmanagement into their various interventions. Relief is an external provider listed in the continuing education catalogues of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec and the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux du Québec.
“The health-professional training at the Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique des Services aux étudiants de l’Université de Montréal has enabled us to expand the services we offer. More than 150 students on our waiting list were able to benefit from self-management workshops on depression, self-esteem and anxiety. Relief’s professionalism and continual support have been huge assets in successfully introducing these new services.”
― Virginie Allard-Caméus, Director, Centre de santé et de consultation psychologique, Services aux étudiants, Université de Montréal
Learn more about our trainings
a culture of
Relief acquires an associate researcher
In addition to collaborating with several researchers specializing in mental health and self-management for specific projects, Relief has acquired an associate researcher to provide scientific supervision and validation of all of its activities and evaluations. Simon Coulombe, assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Relations at Université Laval, with whom Relief has worked for several years.
“As a person living with anxiety, I have seen many times the many impacts mental health challenges can have on the lives of recovering people and their loved ones, both at home and at work.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, the world in which we operate seems, more than ever, to be undergoing a rapid and major transformation. This represents a major challenge that can lead to difficulties linked to anxiety, depression, or bipolarity - or even exacerbate them - but it is also an opportunity to create better supportive environments for mental health and strengthen self-management support services and programs.
My goal as an associate researcher is to support Relief so that the organization continues (as it has done so well for a long time!) to be at the scientific forefront in the self-management approach. I will support Relief in collecting data to continue the scientific evaluation and validation of the content of its services with a view to continuous improvement and to develop evidence-based data.
It is an honor to work with Relief and thus be able to help promote its exceptional expertise in mental health.»
― Simon Coulombe, Associate Researcher at Relief and Assistant Professor at the Department of Industrial Relations at Université Laval
a total of $2 million raised
Relief has developed a set of online tools that work and that are easy to use, including a scalable platform to meet the growing demand for mental health services. These tools, which include selfmanagement workshops, individual and group interventions, and services for businesses, are up and running and part of our permanent service offering. In addition to creating jobs during an uncertain time, this campaign allowed us to:
• Help 30% more people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, as well as their loved ones, during the pandemic;
• Lead 18 workshops for 229 people since the start of the pandemic (from March to December 2020); and
• Help 13 businesses to support their employees during these challenging times, specifically through webinars.
“Bell Let’s Talk is proud to put our support behind SolidaiRevivre as Presenting Partner, and to help Revivre develop and expand its virtual program to reach even more people across Quebec and Canada. As demand for mental health support has surged with the increased isolation and stress brought on by the COVID-19 crisis, Relief’s bilingual virtual workshops and support groups will enable more people struggling with stress and anxiety to practice self-care and better manage their symptoms.”
— Mirko Bibic, President and CEO, BCE and Bell Canada
J’avance en marchant: $55,000 raised during this 3rd edition
An impressive 220 people across Canada and around the world walked for mental health on October 4, 2020. While the goal of the 3rd edition of J’avance en marchant was the same as in past years—to raise money to maintain and improve the services offered by Relief—this year’s walk was a little different in that it was virtual. The participants each chose the location for their walk and then shared their experiences on social media. During their walk, they could listen to three podcasts by celebrities sharing their inspiring stories about mental health.
a fulfilling life beyond mental illness
Florence K, a Quebec artist living with bipolarity, talks about her mental health journey, looking back at moments from her personal and professional life and the important lessons that helped give her better insight into her mental health.
a love that conquers all
With no shortage of emotion, Jean- Rémy Provost, Relief’s Executive Director, shares his experience as the spouse of a person living with bipolarity, reminding us that love can conquer all— even mental illness.
* only available in French
the courage to speak out
Pierre Craig, journalist and former host of “La Facture,” bares his soul in this frank discussion about his mental health journey, sharing his experience with panic attacks openly and honestly—and with refreshing optimism!
* only available in French
For the 4th edition, to be held on October 2-3, 2021, again in a virtual format, J’avance en marchant will become The Relief Walk.
a community in action: $39,731 for mental health
Galerie Claude Lafitte: art for mental health
Claude Lafitte, president of Galerie Claude Lafitte, held two art auctions benefiting Relief, from May 1-30, 2020, and from October 19-November 3, 2020, which raised a total of $30,000. Up for offer were close to 50 paintings by such influential Canadian and European painters as Marc-Aurèle Fortin, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Côté, Paul-Émile Borduas and Jean Paul Lemieux, to name a few. The first edition was held in 2019, and Mr. Lafitte intends to uphold the tradition in 2021-2022.
Le Tricheur (TVA): playing for a good cause
Le Tricheur is a Quebec pop-culture quiz show that airs on TVA and is hosted by Guy Jodoin. Each week, different artists play for a charity of their choice. Marie-Ève Morency (actor), Hubert Proulx (actor) and Anik Jean (singer) gave a total of $5,345 to Relief.
Kim Morissette: an ambitious entrepreneur with a heart of gold
Kim Morissette is the businesswoman behind La Kogiteuse and Journal Ambition, a personal development and planning tool. She donated a percentage of the sales from her journal—$543— to Relief, along with a print copy to be used as a door prize during J’avance en marchant. She also gave a nod to Relief in her podcast.
volunteering at Relief
Year after year, Relief relies on the support of volunteers who are passionate about mental health to help it fulfil its mission. And 2020-2021 was no exception with:
Thank you to the 20 volunteers who helped us provide our various services (support groups, helpline, Living + sessions, technical helpline, administrative support) and who allowed us to do more this year, which was an especially challenging one for people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, and their loved ones.
“I’ve been volunteering at Relief since January 2020. Every week, I provide self-management support by phone and email, on top of leading virtual support groups. I’m involved with Relief because I truly believe in the importance of supporting people as they find their own path to mental health through self-management. Relief is built on an approach that takes a holistic view of the person as a unique being, but also as the expert on their own life. This position aligns with my own vision of the helping relationship, where each person is the captain of their own ship. It allows us to tap into our inner resources and find creative ways of building a toolbox to help us better navigate our mental health. My experience with Relief has been (and continues to be) extremely rewarding. I learn so much every week, both personally and professionally. And there’s really no such thing as a boring session! Every experience brings something new to the table and leads me to reflect on the different parts of my life, the world, and my role as a caregiver and future healthcare professional. We have so much to learn from each other! And of course, the openness and compassion of everyone at Relief makes my volunteering experience all the more enjoyable.”
― Émylie Giguère, volunteer at Relief
An extraordinary man who’s done so much for Relief and for mental health, Guy Latraverse served as Chair of the Board of Directors for 20 years and continues to be a sitting director to this day. As the first person in Québec to speak openly about mental illness, his pioneering work has helped pave the way to mental health for everyone. This year, his dedication and professional achievements were recognized by the distinguished Ordre de Montréal and the title of officer. On behalf of the entire Relief team, thank you for breaking down the barriers and allowing us to continue moving forward!
the voices of Relief
Pierre Craig | Journalist - Spokesperson since 2016
With his legendary sensitivity and candour when it comes to talking about anxiety, Pierre has given numerous testimonials to employees and managers in order to empower them to ask for help with striking a better balance at work and in their personal lives. He was also one of the celebrities who shared his story for the podcasts produced for the third edition of J’avance en marchant.
Florence K | Author-composer-performer and pianist. Ambassador since 2019
Relief spent a full year working with Florence K — who even dropped by our office for a visit — to raise public awareness for mental health disorders, especially bipolarity. She talked about her journey in a podcast for the third edition of J’avance en marchant.
vision pour 2022
Au cours de l’année à venir, Relief concrétisera son engagement envers la recherche universitaire et créera la Chaire de recherche Relief en santé mentale, autogestion et travail. Grâce à ses partenaires, à sa communauté d’entraide et à son équipe, Relief continuera à être le centre d’expertise de référence en santé mentale pour les décennies à venir!
Pour continuer à avancer sur le chemin de la santé mentale, Relief travaillera en 2022 sur :
• Célébration de son 30e anniversaire
• Développement d’un programme jeunesse
• Lancement du nouveau programme Relief Affaires
• Mise en place d’une semaine de sensibilisation au soutien à l’autogestion de la santé mentale
Read message from the Chair, Martin Enault
Without our financial partners, it would be impossible for us to fulfil our mission or to keep offering the projects that have helped thousands of people living with anxiety, depression or bipolarity, as well as their loved ones. Thank you for enabling us to do what we do. To do more. To do better.
$500,000 - $1,000,000 +
Bell Cause pour la cause
$250,000 - $499,999
$100,000 - $249,999
Fondation J.A Bombardier
$25,000 - $49,999
Centraide du Grand Montréal
Fondation J.A. DeSève
Galerie Claude Lafitte
IA Groupe Financier
Power Corporation du Canada
$5,000 - $24,999
Caisse Populaire Desjardins Quartier latin
Famille Jean C. Monty
Fondation Carmand Normand
Fondation du Grand Montréal
Fondation Dufresne Gauthier
Fondation François Bourgeois
Fondation Jacques et Michel Auger
Fondation Lise et Richard Fortin
$4,999 and under