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About Us

CRISE puts promotion first by developing, evaluating and deploying mental health programs. These include Zippy's Friends, Apple's Friends and Passport: Skills for Life.


CRISE is an interdisciplinary research centre at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). The research centre collaborates with practitioners, organizations and program planners to promote suicide prevention research.  They also facilitate the transfer and application of knowledge to improve suicide prevention and reduce its negative impact. 

CRISE is also devoted to the development and evaluation of mental health promotion activities and programs for children, including Passport: Skills for Life and Zippy's Friends

CRISE brings together more than fifty researchers, stakeholders and students across seven universities and twenty-four research centres in Quebec. Visit the CRISE website to learn more.




Promote a positive mental health culture aimed at elementary school children to foster their ability to bounce back and participate fully in life and society.




All elementary school children will have a broader range of positive coping strategies to better overcome their challenges and flourish in life.




Collaboration. Autonomy. Respect. Self-Reliance. 

How We Started

Befrienders International, a nonprofit and global suicide prevention agency, provides telephone hotline services in 41 countries. In 1997, they had the opportunity to develop a new program accentuating the skills necessary for young children to cope with difficult situations and to be better equipped to deal with crises and difficulties in adolescence and adulthood. To develop a program according to the objectives set by the organization, a group of psychologists from Canada, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands developed the programme Reaching Young Europe for children aged six and seven years, promoting coping skills and healthy social skills.

In 2001 a new nonprofit organization was founded, Partnership for Children, to roll out the program worldwide. To do this, they changed the program's name in 2002 to Zippy's Friends.

In Quebec, the Center for Research and Intervention on Suicide, Ethical Issues and End-of-Life Practices (CRISE) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is responsible for implementing and evaluating the  Zippy's Friend program in Canada and the United States. Since 2004-2005, several school service centers in the province of Quebec have adopted the program. Such as the Montérégie, the Laurentians, the Outaouais, Kitigan Zibi, the First Nation of Timiskaming, Wendake, the national capital Quebec, and the greater Montreal. Outside Quebec, Niagara, Windsor in Ontario and Surrey in British Columbia are implementing the program. As a result, more than 20,000 children have experienced Zippy's Friends across Canada.

After running Zippy's Friends in their class, several teachers in Quebec expressed interest in a sequel so that children can maintain their new skills and continue learning. As a result, researchers and other partners involved in Zippy's Friends have come together to develop a program aimed at children in elementary school's 4, 5 and 6 grades. The development, implementation and evaluation of the Passport: Skills for Life program were funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada from 2009 to 2015.

Our Team

Our Partners


Partnership for Childrenis a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting children's mental health. It supports the development and promotion of the Zippy's Friends program internationally.


Canadian Mental Health Association (ACSM) is a non-profit organization that supports the promotion of mental health. Its programs act on the various determinants of mental health and are aimed at to support the community. 


Le Mouvement Santé mentale Québec is a non-profit organization. The non-profit is the driving force behind the annual Mental Health Promotion Campaign, which raises awareness among Quebecers of the importance of taking care of their mental health. With its members, it implements actions, tools, programs and support for policies to increase and maintain the personal and collective well-being of the population.


L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is a public Quebec university. 



Our Office

  CRISE / UQAM, 100, Sherbrooke West,

4th Floor
Local SU-4625
Montréal, QC, Canada
H2X 3P2

  (+1) 514 987-4832

We Can All Do Something

Big or small, your donation makes it possible to train teachers and school professionals so that they can conduct the program accross Canadian primary schools. Your generosity is inspiring and contributes to boosting our children’s social and emotional well-being!