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Our History



Maison La Vigile, Val-Cartier (Qc)

The initial concept of La Vigile was developed in the 1980’s by Mr. Jacques Denis Simard. Mr. Simard was a Police Officer in Quebec for many years and had noticed the mental health issues that came with this line of work. In his efforts to seek help for fellow officers, he noticed they would have to travel great distances in order to get the support they needed. He came to the realization that there was a great need for an organization dedicated solely to supporting first responders. 

Over the years, La Vigile grew and expanded based on the needs and demands for this type of support and treatment from Emergency Service workers. Prior to developing their own in-house treatment programs, La Vigile networked with various organizations that provided therapy which treated various mental health and addictions issues. It was identified that, although there were some community partners that provided rich in-house therapeutic environment for individuals with mental health and addiction issues, these programs were not specific to the organizational culture of emergency services. 

La Vigile recognized the importance of having a culture specific therapeutic experience for Emergency Service workers. There was an understanding that the therapeutic care provided to Emergency Service workers would not be effective when mixed with other populations who were not in this field of work. There were many specific needs could not be met within the general population, thus the development of their own in-house treatment center. This was one that could provide therapy (treatment) fulfilling the unique needs of Emergency Service workers. 


The trust in the care provided at La Vigile has spread throughout the various mental health care providers as well as various insurance companies and associations in Quebec, making La Vigile a recommended resource for Emergency Service workers.

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