Nine mental health organizations in the Montreal area received a funding boost Monday morning.

CTV’s parent company Bell has given $150,000 in grants to the following community groups:

  • Centre de soir Denise-Massé
  • Expression LaSalle centre communautaire en santé mentale
  • Fondation de l'Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal
  • Fondation Institut de gériatrie de Montréal
  • Dr Clown Foundation
  • Head & Hands/À 2 mains
  • Le CAP - Centre d'apprentissage parallèle de Montréal
  • Prise II
  • Société québécoise de la schizophrénie et des psychoses apparentées (SQS)

“It's really on the front lines of human relationships and that's what we really build on in the hospital setting and especially working with mental illness. It's something we've not developed our expertise in until this moment, so the funds we'll be getting will be to train our clown practitioners specifically in how to gage certain elements, certain signs within mental illness, specifically with children,” said Melissa Holland, co-founder of the Dr. Clown Foundation.

The money will be used to improve to quality of mental health care and services as well as access to mental health services and is part of Bell’s Let’s Talk Community Fund.

"The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund has been instrumental in engaging the community in frank and open discussions on mental illness, and in ending the stigma associated with the disease," said Health Minister Gaetan Barrette, on hand for the announcement.

One in five Canadians will experience some form of mental illness during their lifetime.