OSMOSE is a project that aims to demystify mental illness, specifically among secondary four and five students from various backgrounds. We took this targeted approach because this age group often possesses risk factors that are associated with mental illness. It is at this tender age that one attempts to define their own identity. Moreover, this subject generates interest among teens because their prior knowledge is often limited.

The OSMOSE project is essentially a dynamic and interactive presentation during which seven topics can be discussed: addiction disorders, learning disabilities (ADHD, autism), stress disorders (PTSD, adjustment disorder), eating disorders, psychotic disorders, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. Since our presentations last between 60-75 minutes, we ask that teachers select three of these topics and indicate their choices on the questionnaire for teachers. For each topic, the presenters will state clear and simple definitions, explore the causes, point out the signs and symptoms, emphasize the consequences, and discuss the available treatments. The presentation then aims to dispel certain myths associated with mental illness by proposing alternative ways to deal with these situations. The presentation concludes by reviewing the main resources that can be useful to students themselves or to their peers. It is important to emphasize that the presenters are university students studying medicine or psychology. They are not trained healthcare professionals or psychotherapists: their objective is to convey a basic amount of information regarding mental health and to provide high school students with a clearer view of mental illness.

This activity is completely free. It fits into the objectives pursued by the Public Health Committee of IFMSA-Québec (International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations).

In 2018, the OSMOSE project won the 3rd place in the Projects of the Americas’ contest.

For more information

Maria Alexandra Rosca
Co-coordinator OSMOSE (Montreal)
Apoorv Sharma
Co-coordinator OSMOSE (Montreal)
Lydia Ait Ali 
Co-coordinator OSMOSE (Mauricie)
Frédérik Gilbert 
Co-coordinator OSMOSE (Mauricie)
Andréanne Cartier, Camille Audet, Eugénie Roberge-Maltais et Laurence Morin 
Co-coordinators OSMOSE (Quebec)