It is estimated that 60% of adolescents in Québec suffer from high psychological distress (Laurier & Pascuzzo, 2020). One in every two youth aged 12 to 25 has experienced severe psychological difficulties such as anxiety and depression in the past year (Généreux, 2020, 2023). Many live in broken homes and have experienced emotional turmoil, mental and physical abuse, toxic relationships, learning disabilities, and other hardships that significantly affected their psychological well-being. Psychological problems in adolescence and young adults significantly impact their long-term development and extend more broadly to impact society in the form of elevated high school drop out rates, delinquency, substance abuse, unemployment, and chronic health problems. Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for psychological problems that targets changes in thoughts, emotions, and behavioral functioning. People of all ages can benefit and make lasting changes (INESS, 2018). However, it takes hard work and commitment.


Connie and Robert

As a psychologist and President of the Connie and Robert Foundation, Dr. Connie Scuccimarri has worked over 20 years in the mental health field. She also has become a public advocate for mental health in the media, raising awareness about the psychological difficulties faced by youth today. Working with families who have experienced emotional problems and chronic illnesses, she has been a witness to the challenges faced by these families and understands the effort and dedication required to make meaningful changes. These children and adolescents often come experiencing significant emotional turmoil, toxic relationships, learning disabilities, and other struggles. Psychological repair is no small feat, and therefore, Dr. Scuccimarri feels strongly that it is a journey that merits recognition.

Robert Carelli is the Vice-President of the Connie and Robert Foundation. He has been oriented towards contributing to his community from the start of his 20-year corporate law career, from giving free counsel to homeless youth to delivering monthly groceries to underprivileged families and his continued involvement in the annual Centraide fundraising campaign. He is sensitive to challenges our society faces and the importance of helping vulnerable populations break the cycle of poverty and misfortune.

Vacations have been a family tradition that were emotionally enriching and contributed to our daughters’ psychological well-being. This is another reason we wanted to incorporate a transformative experience abroad for youth that have rarely travelled given life challenges. The psychological benefits of traveling abroad are well-known, and range from learning about a new culture to improving self-esteem and mood (Chen & Petrick , 2013; Kawakubo & Oguchi, 2022).

It is our hope that those needing psychological services receive the help they need in our province of Québec and make strides toward better living.