About us

Mission, vision, values and history

Suicide Action Montréal’s mission is to prevent suicide and help survivors of suicide cope with its serious repercussions. SAM provides quality services to people contemplating suicide, to their social network and to the health and social service professionals who work with them. All of these services are made possible through our excellent resources, the commitment of paid and volunteer staff, and by building on our own expertise while learning from other organizations in the community.

THE FUTURE

The commitment of our employees and volunteers is part of a continuous process adapting our services to meet the changing needs of the population and the ever evolving scientific knowledge in suicide prevention.

We intend to continue these efforts in exchanging and collaborating with researchers and developing innovative projects with our partners.

This approach is part of a strategic planning for which an action plan determines the work to be done.

The aging of the population, migratory movements and the development of
an accelerating information technology are heavy trends in the Quebec society.

They are likely in the coming years to significantly influence the needs to be met and how we will respond to them.

Our values are embodied in our ways of being and doing so with people
helped only partners. Our values have in their evocation a strong commitment potential and mobilization.

Our values are as follows:

  • Protection of life. Everyone has the right to life and help. The person
    suicidal feelings of distress, ambivalence and feelings of impasse
    hope can be reborn.
  • Respect for the person. Every human being must be appreciated for what he is
    all dignity so that he can feel empowered and relieved to share his suffering
    and to work for life.
  • Commitment. Anyone can commit to making choices for life, since she has in her abilities and strengths. With this in mind, the people who help a suffering person commit to creating a favorable context to search with it sources of satisfaction, pride and hope.

These values give deep meaning to the work of our employees and volunteers.
They serve as guides and inspiration in the accomplishment of our mission. These values are in harmony with our code of ethics (Suicide Action Montreal, 2004) and the laws in force in Quebec, which allows us to ensure a high level of quality of our services.

In 1984, thanks to the work of a few dedicated partners involved in a conference on suicide prevention, Suicide Action Montréal (SAM) began its operations.

From its inception, SAM has focused specifically on telephone crisis intervention services for people contemplating suicide. Over the past 24 years, SAM has trained more than 3,000 volunteers, some of whom have been with us for years, if not decades. During the same period, the number of full-time employees at SAM grew from 3 to 30.

Since our early days of operations, SAM has received a total of more than 600,000 calls: some from suicidal callers, approximately 40,000 from people concerned that someone they knew was suicidal, and about 15 000 from people mourning someone who had committed suicide.

SAM has received a number of distinguished honours for its work. In 2002, SAM was chosen by the Association des Centres Jeunesse du Québec as a finalist for its consultative intervention project on suicides amongst young people experiencing serious social and affective difficulties. In 2003, SAM won a PROSHSE award of excellence from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux in its community impact category for its research project on the provision of support to suicidal men and their entourage. In 2004, SAM received the Crisis Center Excellence Award in the category of Outstanding Work in the Field of Suicide Prevention from the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) for expertise shown in suicide prevention in its mentoring service to high-risk suicidal men. In 2005, Ordre des psychologues du Québec recognized SAM’s excellent services, conferring it with an award for health and psychological well being.

Time, experience and research on suicide have honed the expertise of SAM’s employees and volunteers to a level that has been recognized by a number of other intervention services with the same kind of clientele. Through the dedicated commitment of our impressive team, our organization has grown from strength to strength.

SAM is 33 now and is dedicated to continuing its mission to help people in distress.

Our organization

Mathieu Bélanger
President
CEO Parkour3,  Web consultant

Gabrielle Brochu
Vice-president
Lawyer, partner
Langlois avocats, S.E.N.C.R.L.

Julie Legault
Treasurer
Accountant

Élise Morissette
Secretary
Lawyer

Francis Pelletier
Delegated administrator
Responsible management

Maude Bouchard
Administrator
PhD Grad student, Research and intervention in neuropsychology

Gabrielle Brochu,
Administrator
Lawyer, partner
Langlois avocats, S.E.N.C.R.L.

Raynald Fortier
Administrator
Retired

Jonathan Giguère
Administrator
HR specialist

Marie-Josée Girard
Administrator
Ph.D grad student in community psychology

Marc Lafrance
Administrator
Vice-president planification, architecture et gouvernance, Caisse de dépôt et placement Québec

Élise Morissette
Administrator
Lawyer

Claudine Pelletier
Administrator
Assistant Director, 1st and 2nd secondary
Collège St-Jean-Vianney

Bernadette Petitpas
Administrator
President, Polychrome Conseil et Coaching

Céline Sage
Administrator
Director, human resources
STM

Our team at Suicide Action Montréal includes both clinical and administrative employees. About 25 qualified clinical professionals support various aspects of our volunteer activities while serving our clientele directly. In addition to being supervised, each member of this permanent team is provided with clinical orientation and many training opportunities to upgrade their skills. Our administrative employees support the clinical team and manage operations.

When new volunteer crisis workers arrive at SAM, they receive thorough on-site training. Our permanent employees have a variety of expertise, specializing primarily in social sciences. Our whole staff is driven by a spirit of openness and collaboration. At SAM, we are independent, rigorous, always striving to improve—and it shows in every parts of our organization.

Autonomy, rigor and a desire for improvement are obvious throughout Suicide Action Montreal’s organization.