AMI-Québec’s support groups provide a warm welcome to everyone. We are here for you! There are support groups for family caregivers (Family & Friends, BPD for Families, South Shore), for those suffering from mental illness (Kaleidoscope), and some mixed groups for both (Anxiety/OCD, Bipolar, Depression, Hoarding). Support groups help participants feel less alone and better understand and cope with the effects of mental illness on their everyday life.
Facilitated by people who have experience, either as a caregiver or having lived with mental illness, support groups help you develop a healthy perspective on mental illness, explore coping strategies, and learn about support services and resources in the community.
Like all our programs, our support groups are free!
Groups begin promptly at 6:30pm EST. We do not allow people into the groups after 6:45pm.
Support groups are taking place online by video conference
Join us on Google Meet by clicking on the appropriate group below.
(Kaleidoscope is for people living with any mental illness)
Frequently Asked Questions
What group should I go to?
For family, friends, and people living with mental illness:
Anxiety / OCD
For family and friends only:
Family & Friends
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) for Families
South Shore: Family & Friends (this group is held on the South Shore in non-pandemic times; you do not need to live on the South Shore)
For people living with mental illness only:
All mental illnesses are welcome at Family and Friends and at Kaleidoscope (including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, hoarding, OCD, etc) and an official diagnosis is not necessary.
What time do they start?
Groups begin promptly at 6:30pm EST. We do not allow people into the groups after 6:45pm. Meetings end at 8pm.
Do I have to register in advance?
No! Just click on the button for your group (see the list above) shortly before 6:30pm.
What is it like at a support group?
Support groups do not have a set agenda or topic. The conversation comes from the people in the group. There will be an introduction with instructions and news. Online groups are similar to an in-person support group; you will be able to talk and listen and there will be a facilitator leading the conversation.
Groups are facilitated by volunteers (trained by AMI, not doctors) who have experience with mental illness in themselves or in a loved one. Because you do not have to register in advance, we never know how many people will be attending; it can be anywhere from a few people to 15 or more. Support groups are confidential. You do not have to give your real name, and you contribute to the conversation as much or as little as you’d like.
If possible, please be in a quiet place to minimize background noise.
What language are groups held in?
Support groups are predominantly conducted in English but discussion can be bilingual. Si vous cherchez de l’aide en français, contactez Avant de craquer 1-855-272-7837 ou AQPAMM 514-524-7131.
How old do you have to be to attend?
All groups are for adults only (18+). If you are looking for support for yourself or a loved one, click HERE for youth resources.
Can I join a group by telephone?
PHONE USERS PLEASE NOTE: as a general rule, you can no longer call into our support groups. If you would like to request an exception, please call us: 514-486-1448.
We encourage you to join us by video because we share information and links in the chat that you cannot see by phone. We have also found that participants prefer to see each other face to face.
I‘m a social worker/psychologist/student. Can I observe a group?
If you are a professional (social worker, counsellor, doctor etc.) who would like to observe one of our support groups, please contact Marc by emailing email@example.com for approval. Thank you.
I’m nervous about joining a group. Can I just watch?
We encourage everyone to actively participate in groups. Please join us–you will see that we are welcoming and inclusive. We will ask you to introduce yourself (we need to be sure someone is there and not in need of help with their computer or phone) but you can use a fake name. That said, you need only talk about what you are comfortable with sharing with the group. Everyone is given the opportunity to speak, as well as the right to be silent. We encourage you to have your camera on, but you may turn off your camera if you wish.
When are you going back to in-person support groups?
We are in unprecedented times during the Covid-19 pandemic. AMI-Quebec’s top priority is the safety of our participants, volunteers, and staff. We will not hold in-person events until we are certain there is a low risk to our entire community. Click HERE to sign up for monthly email updates for information.
Why aren’t you doing telephone support groups anymore?
Our feedback indicated that people wanted to see each other and had trouble figuring out who was speaking on the phone, especially in larger groups. Facilitators could no longer “see body language” of participants, making their roles more difficult. Also people with hearing issues had difficulty–there are captions in Google Meet. Google Meet is also free, compared to the telephone technology we used before.