Housing crisis most prominent cause of mental health issues, Quebec advocates say

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The housing crisis has become the most frequent cause of mental health issues for psychiatric patients in Quebec, according to a survey by the Regroupement des ressources alternatives en santé mentale au Québec (RRASMQ).

The organization said this at a press conference on Sunday, held in partnership with housing organization Regroupement des comités logement et associations de locataires du Québec (RCLALQ).

The two groups presented an open letter addressed directly to Premier François Legault, which will be published on Tuesday.

More than 300 organizations specializing in housing and mental health say they are imploring Legault to take concrete action to solve the ongoing housing crisis.

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“There’s currently no glimmer of hope,” said Cédric Dussault on Sunday, spokesperson and co-coordinator at RCLALQ.

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He added that there is a “growing despair among tenants who contact housing committees and tenants’ associations.”

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According to Dussault, the increase in mental health problems is a direct consequence of the housing crisis.

High rents, evictions and substandard housing can cause anxiety, depression and insomnia, which can lead to suicidal thoughts and other mental health crises, the organizations said.

The mental health organization (RRASMQ) said the findings from 35 resource organizations in the fields of mental health and housing brought them to draw conclusive links between both issues marking Quebec in recent years.

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