Marie-Andrée Bruneau, MD, MSc, FRCPC
Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal
This has been a very active and exciting year for the University of Montreal (UdeM)i in the field of geriatric psychiatry. In fact, a few days ago, the University Committee submitted the province’s first request for the official designation of its Geriatric Psychiatry Program by the Royal College of Canada. If the answer is positive, we hope to begin the training of many future French geriatric psychiatrists. We are very proud of our program and of its comprehensive and diversified selection of courses, thanks to a highly dedicated and committed academic team. However, the issue of funding the program has not been resolved given the very restrictive allocations regarding academic positions in Quebec. As in other provinces, it is necessary to demonstrate to our health authorities the particular needs of our senior populations in Canada.
Certain UdeM members therefore participated in different departmental committees to demonstrate the key issues involved in providing medical services and care for seniors. We collaborated in the round table discussions regarding the implementation of an Alzheimer Plan at the cognitive level, as well as for the Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD). The Department of Health and Social Services (MSSS)ii has approved certain UdeM geriatric psychiatry projects. Training programs and programs for the development of clinical and training tools will also be included. We have also participated in the consultation sessions of the Quebec Health Commissioneriii regarding its 1914 report that will be focussed on seniors. In addition, we were directly involved in the Seniors Mental Health Day organized for the first time this year by the MSSS. We also actively participated in the Scientific Committee to revise the offer of services by Quebec’s long-term care facilities (CHSLD)iv and implemented recommendations of the BPSD guidelines. The UdeM Geriatric Psychiatrists also worked actively in the development of telehealth consultation and training programs. We are seeing changes and new developments in the field of geriatric psychiatry, as well as a growing concern regarding seniors’ mental health.
At the moment of writing this update, most geriatric psychiatrists are studying for the inaugural September 26 Royal College Exam in Geriatric Psychiatry. We hope all of us and all our colleagues across Canada will succeed in this historic exam.
ii Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux (Québec)
iii Commissaire à la santé et au bien-être du Québec
iv Centre d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD)