The Shack started in the mind of a young woman affected by mental illness in her family. Indeed, when a relative suffers, we try to do everything in our power to alleviate the suffering. It is not always as easy as it sounds. This woman is me.
Years have passed and we had to admit that, despite the efforts of many professionals (Physicians, psychologists, rehabilitation centre, etc.), we were confronted to a lack of resources adapted to the needs of a person that wishes to be autonomous.
By discussing with Dr. Mario Soulard the idea started to grow. He informed me that many people were confronted with the same situation and that no one is satisfying this need. He proposed to start a resources for people with special needs in mental health.
– Josée Parent, founder and president
The Shack has for mission to promote, elaborate, develop, achieve and operate buildings in order to offer supervised apartments and a living environment to young adults from 18 to 35 years old with mental health disorders.
Much more than affordable supervised apartments, the Shack is a bilingual living environment wich will offers to his tenants :
Recovery is not a synonym of “clinical recovery” or of a “remedy”. Recovery is a long process while living with mental health issues, no different than someone living with a chronic condition like diabetes or asthma.
According to Boardman1, three factors are essential to recovery :
Hope, personal responsibility, autonomy, taking charge of your life, well-being, education and peer support are just some of the factors for recovery. Other key factors that help overcome mental health are acceptance, taking charge of your life, self-determination, control of symptoms and the support of a psychiatrist.
It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of symptoms, but it could include having a job, an apartment, and maybe a pet and good friends.
Finally, to help recovery, we believe that we must have solidarity in the fight against prejudice and the stigmatization people with mental health issues are often victims of.
1 The participation to a community life is defined by a participation to general meetings and all democratic activities of the organization.
Because it refers to a particular place. Because a Shack in the woods is a peaceful place. It is built little by little, in our image, that we like, and in which we find a precious source of well-being.
The Shack will be the place where young people with mental health problems will be able to take time rebuilding themselves with professionnal support. They will be able to built their own Shack.
Mental health is an essential component of overall health, and is defined as follows by the WHO: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition makes the important distinction that mental health is more than simply living without mental problems or mental handicaps.
Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual can feel accomplished, can cope with normal life stresses, can work productively and can contribute to the vitality of his community. Seen in this positive light, mental health is the very foundation of an individual’s well-being and of a functioning community.