Government of Canada invests $914,911 to support the mental health of families with premature children

News release

December 9, 2022 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

Pandemic-related challenges, including increased financial stress, isolation, and difficulties obtaining childcare have all led to negative impacts on families' mental health. The Government of Canada is committed to promoting positive mental health in communities across the country and strengthening the mental health of families.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, announced nearly $1 million in funding to Préma-Québec for their project to support the mental health of siblings and parents of premature children. This project will offer services, workshops, and materials to support these families' well-being, and help them cope with related mental health challenges. The project will also support health professionals who work closely with these families. The project will reach families all over Québec.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is investing in community based mental health promotion projects that focus on reducing systemic barriers. Today's investment supports mental health and wellbeing during the early years of life by promoting protective factors and addressing the underlying determinants of mental health and health equity for children, youth, young adults and their caregivers.

This announcement is part of a $100 million investment provided in Budget 2021 to support projects that promote mental health and prevent mental illness in populations disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


"The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many mental health challenges facing Canadians. This is especially true for parents and siblings of premature children already experiencing a range of difficulties, including PTSD, isolation, anxiety, and depression. Today's funding will help Préma-Québec support families in need from across the province and assist them in developing skills and strategies to maintain their well-being now, and into the future."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett 
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, and Associate Minister of Health

"Every day, as Director of Préma-Québec, I witness the parents' initial disorientation, their bewilderment, their anxiety, and I also witness their extraordinary ability to adapt and their great love for this baby born too soon. It's essential for parents to be by their baby's side during this critical period, but prematurity, it's a journey towards the unknown. Préma-Québec is there to support the families needing a compass to navigate through this adventure. Every day, Préma-Québec helps, guides and reassures families and those around them."

Ginette Mantha
Founder and Executive Director of Préma-Québec

Quick Facts

  • One in three Canadians indicated their mental health got worse due to the pandemic.
  • Community-based projects focussed on mental health promotion have the potential to improve health outcomes over the life course.
  • Mental health is very much interconnected with physical health, and central to overall health and well-being. For example, poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions, and vice versa. Positive mental health also has a bearing on people's ability to cope with life's challenges and stress, as well as their sense of belonging and feelings of being in control of their life.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the mental health of people in Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you are in need of support, or if a loved one is struggling, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, or call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (adults) or 686868 (youth). The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer-to-peer support, and one-to-one counselling with qualified health professionals.

Associated Links


Maja Staka
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health, Carolyn Bennett

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

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