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Montfort announces new Mental Health Emergency Zone

Ottawa, May 24, 2024 – Hôpital Montfort and its Fondation announced the upcoming opening of a new Mental Health Emergency Zone (MHEZ), scheduled to open this fall.

At a press conference to mark the start of the zone’s construction work, Dominic Giroux, President and CEO of Montfort, emphasized the crucial importance of this new infrastructure to better meet the needs of patients experiencing a mental health crisis. 

"Montfort’s Emergency Department sees proportionally twice as many visits for mental health reasons than other hospitals in Ottawa and the province," said Giroux. "This new area will enable us to offer even more adapted care and ensure optimal support for these patients." 

Jocelyn Veillard, director of the mental health program, emphasized the safe and humane aspect  of the MHEZ. "This zone will enable patients to be treated with respect for their dignity, and provide staff with an environment where they can work with compassion, respect and excellence," he explained. "Any patient who comes to the MHEZ will be able to begin their journey to recovery as soon as they arrive, without waiting to be admitted to the mental health unit." 

Robert Rhéaume, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Montfort Foundation, reiterated the importance of community support for the success of this initiative. "We have seen the success of the fundraising campaign for the Aline-Chrétien Health Hub, in Orléans, and we are confident that our community will also support this essential project to meet a growing need." The new Mental Health Emergency Zone will be supported by a fundraising campaign with a goal of $2 million. 

At the press conference, Mr. Raman Chauhan, an Ottawa resident for over 40 years, shared his poignant testimony. His son, a former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, died by suicide after suffering from post-traumatic stress. "Investing in projects like the new Mental Health Emergency Zone is paramount to supporting families affected by mental health issues," he said. "I'm grateful for everything Canada has offered me, and I firmly believe in the importance of this project to the health of our community." 

Features of the Montfort MHEZ will include sensory rooms, a shower, and a welcoming environment that alleviates the stress of being in hospital, with music, windows and murals, comfort tools and a waiting room dedicated to the zone.

For more information and to take part in the fundraising campaign, visit the Montfort Foundation website.

About Montfort

Montfort is Ontario's francophone teaching hospital, offering exemplary person-centred care. Montfort serves more than 1.2 million people in Eastern Ontario in both official languages. Montfort received its third Accreditation with High Commendation from Accreditation Canada in 2022, and is the first hospital to be designated as a Francophone Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO) by the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.

With its main partners, the University of Ottawa and La Cité College, as well as other post-secondary programs, Montfort is preparing the next generation of French-language healthcare professionals. Since 2015, it has been one of Canada's top 40 research hospitals, thanks to the activities of the Institut du Savoir Montfort. Montfort aims to become "your reference hospital for exceptional services, designed with you and for you". In 2019, it was named one of the world's top 1000 hospitals.

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