Thanks to an initiative and generous donation from Mr. Jacques L’Écuyer and his two children, Laurence and Philippe, patients hospitalized in the Centre have had the chance to enjoy four concerts per week on two of the units since July 2018.
Users, accompanied by staff members and visitors, have been exposed to a variety of musical styles (classical, jazz, pop and blues) from different eras during these informal concerts. Users have had the chance to interact with musicians – occasionally to make musical requests. The goal of the program is to enhance the well-being of people struggling with mental health issues through the benefits of music.
This project was born out of insightful ideas on the part of the L’Écuyer family, in collaboration with representatives of the CIUSSS for the northern sector of the Island of Montreal, the Albert-Prévost Mental Health Centre, and the Foundation. The Joanne Martens Fund was created by the hospital foundation in memory of Mr. L’Écuyer’s wife and mother of Laurence and Philippe, and donations from the L’Écuyer family were used to meet the expenses for this remarkable initiative.
Musicians attuned to mental health challenges
The music program began with the participation of the Société pour les arts en milieux de santé (SAMS), the largest network of professional musicians in Quebec presenting concerts made to order for the healthcare setting. SAMS recruits musicians for these presentations.
Also, beginning in September 2018, another component was added to our music program, with students from the CEGEP de Saint-Laurent performing concerts on Wednesday evenings. To prepare, they receive basic training from music teachers, including a specialist in presenting music in a hospital environment. Next, more training is provided by students in the nursing program under the supervision of a nursing educator at the CEGEP, with the aim of making the musicians aware of the different mental health issues they might encounter at the Albert-Prévost Mental Health Centre.
On February 7, 2019, an evening was devoted to underscore the exceptional commitment of the L’Écuyer family over the past five years, and to award twelve music students the first Joanne Martens Harmony Bursaries. To learn more about this music program or to donate to the Joanne Martens Fund, please contact Ms. Marie-Claude Tellier by calling (514) 338-2303, extension 3 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.