Statement by the Minister of Labour on Mental Health Week


May 3, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi, issued the following statement for Mental Health Week.

“This week, Canada marks the 70th anniversary of Mental Health Week with communities, workplaces and schools rallying to celebrate, protect and promote mental health.

As Minister of Labour, protecting and supporting mental health in federally regulated workplaces is one of my top priorities. I believe that advancing our policies, raising awareness and helping end stigma associated with mental health, is a collaborative effort. We are having important conversations with unions, employer representatives and experts on psychological health and safety in the workplace. I encourage all Canadians and workplaces to help promote behaviours and attitudes that foster well-being, in order to support mental health and to create a culture of understanding and acceptance.

Different industries are experiencing unforeseen disruptions affecting everyone—employers, workers, their families and surrounding communities. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting a significant strain on people’s mental well-being. Many Canadians have lost family, friends and coworkers as a result of the pandemic. Others have lost their jobs. Many are deeply concerned about how they will take care of themselves and their families.

To ensure no one feels alone during these challenging times, the Government launched the Wellness Together Canada portal to provide free and confidential mental health, substance use, and well-being supports to all Canadians. There are also many other useful online resources, such as e-courses offered for free by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, and the Resource Hub provided by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

We recognize that more can be done during these difficult times. That’s why, through Budget 2021, the Government is proposing investments that will support better mental well-being among all Canadians and complement previous investments on mental health services. For example, our Government has proposed to provide an additional $62 million, in 2021-22, to ensure that the Wellness Together Canada portal can continue to provide Canadians, including workers, with tools and services to support mental health and well-being.

Fear, worry, anxiety and stress are normal responses to real or perceived threats. We must be compassionate and support each other. We must talk about mental health openly and without fear. Simple actions matter, whether at work or in our communities. Being kind, respectful and reaching out to someone who could use a helping hand can have a tremendous impact. We must be honest and understanding when talking about mental health.

Let’s continue to make choices that recognize mental health as a key part of general health, in our lives and in our workplaces.

I wish a peaceful and healing #MentalHealthWeek to all Canadian workers."

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Nilani Logeswaran
Director of Parliamentary Affairs and Issues Management
Office of the Minister of Labour, Filomena Tassi

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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