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.

In realizing the urgency of this situation and the multiple needs of supervised residences in mental health, I have decided to create the Shack. All this is possible with the support of the Board of Directors of an exceptional quality and the excellent mentoring of Mrs. Louise Lévesque, General of JEVI Centre de prevention du suicide – Estrie.

–  Josée Parent, founder and president

  Our Mission

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 :

  • Hospitality and referential services,
  • Individual and group meetings,
  • Community workshops and activities (collective kitchen, self-esteem, self-expression, budget management),
  • Personalized assistance to achieve autonomy,
  • Inclusive, energic and safe living environment,
  • A stepping stone to independence !

Our vision for recovery

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 : Hope is at the center of recovery; if you can not imagine a better future, why would you want to try to heal?
  • Taking charge of your life : solving your own problems, taking charge of your life and your future.
  • Having the potential to be part of and contribute to society, being appreciated, having access and contributing to all that society has to offer.

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.

Our objectives

  • Support people to achieve their autonomy, their self-esteem and their sense of responsibility so that they can integrate well into their community.
  • Relieve emotional distress of people who needs our services.
  • Encourage equal relationships between social workers and people who needs our services in established structures.

  • Encourage participation of members to confirm the mission, guidelines and operational modes of the organization.
  • Establish some participatory structures to encourage a democratic and community life. 1
  • Lead society to be more tolerant on young adults with mental health disorders and on behaviours that may seems disruptive at first sight. (Educate, sensitize, inform, support community).

1  The participation to a community life is defined by a participation to general meetings and all democratic activities of the organization.

Why the Shack?

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.

What is mental health ?

Definition from the World Health Organization (WHO)

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.

Board of Directors: Members and Roles

Josée Parent
Founder and Director
David Plante
Administrator, Tenant at Mon Shack
Émilie Beaudet
Administrator, Tenant at Mon Shack
Hélène Boivin
Treasurer, Accountant at Global Excel Management
Frédéric Bossé
Secretary, BI Analyst at BRP inc.
Julie Labbé
Vice President, Social worker at CIUSSS Estrie-CHUS
Marc-Antoine Lapointe
President, University student in MBA and Law
Alexandre Beaudet
Administrator, Director talent management at Libeo