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Meet Valérie, who helps educate people about mental health issues

Mental Health
April 21, 2019 •  By Centraide
Témoignage Valérie Fortier - AQPAMM

Every day, Valérie helps counter the stigma of mental health disorders.

Valérie oversees various psychosocial services for the families, friends, and caregivers of people with mental illness.

Valérie Fortier has been working with the Association québécoise des parents et amis de la personne atteinte de maladie mentale team (the AQPAMM; Quebec’s Association of Parents and Friends of Persons with Mental Illness) for several years. As part of her work, she provides valuable support to the families and loved ones of people living with a mental health disorder. 

Valérie oversees various psychosocial services for the families, friends, and caregivers of people with mental illness. In addition to working directly on developing the association’s services, she also serves as its voice: she is the AQPAMM’s spokesperson and communications manager, and does everything possible to promote the association’s mission.

Every day, Valérie helps counter the stigma of mental health disorders. Together with the AQPAMM team, she helps promote greater inclusion of those affected, and helps facilitate a better understanding of mental health issues and of its impact on personal and professional relationships.

In the past year alone, she has given numerous TV and radio interviews, to promote the Association and highlight the difficulties that can be experienced by the friends and loved ones of a person living with a mental health problem. She is ever dynamic and always respectful, and has a gift for raising public awareness of issues that are all too often passed over in silence.

Thanks to her work as a spokesperson, Valérie is able to talk about the helplessness, fear, worry, and anger that can be experienced by those affected by mental health issues. Giving a voice to these realities helps raise public awareness about the different aspects of mental health and, most importantly of all, helps fight the stigma.

Valérie recently received a teaching assignment at Jean-de-Brébeuf College, where she teaches a course on psychosocial activism. She believes the next generation has a major role to play in raising awareness around mental health issues, and she hopes to inspire others to follow along the path she has chosen. 

Valérie Fortier is the proud recipient of the Solidaires Relève 2018 award.