I rise in the house today to recognize National Mental Health Week, which is May 5-11.
Mental health is an extremely important component to our overall health. But it is one that we sometimes neglect.
People of all ages can struggle with mental health issues. Students can be stressed about grades or course load. Adults can be stressed about work load… finances… and family obligations.
These people are not alone. One in five Canadians experiences a mental health difficulty each year.
One of the biggest barriers to getting help for mental health issues is combating the stigma that can be associated with mental health issues.
We have to start to realize that mental health difficulties are no different than other health difficulties. We should be freely able to talk about both and get the help we need.
Improving access to mental health and addiction services is one of this government’s major health priorities. Supports and programs include:
Multi-year funding partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association for the delivery of suicide prevention programs and the Clubhouse program;
Expanded group programming targeting coping strategies for adults;
Depression management programs;
Expanded collaborative mental health in primary care settings; and
CAST and Strength Programs for adolescents;
Soon Dr. Rhonda Matters, the first Chief Mental Health and Addictions Officer, will be presenting a set of actions on how we can further improve access to mental health supports.
Government is not alone in our work to improve mental health education, programming and awareness. We rely on local associations to help highlight the importance of these issues.
Today in the gallery, I’m honoured to have:
The Canadian Mental Health Association has been a vocal ambassador for programming and services related to mental health.
I thank them for being with us today and for their work with individuals and families who are facing these health issues across our province. The work is certainly important and extremely valued. Thank you.