Message from the Minister of Health – National Mental Health Week
May 6-12, 2019
Mental Health Week is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of protecting and taking care of our mental health. From May 6 to 12, people across Canada are invited to join the conversation and help end the stigma faced by those with mental health challenges or living with a mental illness.
As Minister of Health, I recognize that poor mental health and mental illness impacts Canadians of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, as well as their families and communities. In fact, 1 in 3 Canadians experience mental illness during their lifetime.
Improving the mental well-being of all Canadians is a priority for the Government of Canada. That is why we are making advancements in mental health awareness and services, including a historical investment of $5 billion over ten years to the provinces and territories. These targeted investments will address specific gaps in the availability of mental health services, particularly for children and youth while also expanding the availability of services for people with complex needs.
Empowering Canadians, promoting positive mental health and preventing suicide also remains a top priority. Budget 2019 commits $25 million over five years starting in 2019-20, and $5 million per year ongoing, to implement and sustain a fully operational pan-Canadian suicide prevention service. This service will help people across Canada access bilingual, 24/7 crisis support from trained responders, using a variety of technology including voice, text or chat.
We will continue to work with partners across all sectors to implement programs and initiatives that promote positive mental health, address issues related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and contribute to the prevention of mental illness and suicide. Just last month we held a National Conference on PTSD. Stakeholders from across the country, including some who have been personally affected by PTSD, came together to help inform the development of a federal framework.
Canada is not alone in its efforts to promote positive mental health and prevent mental illness. I look forward to continuing the work of the global Alliance of Champions for Mental Health and Wellbeing and ensuring mental health is a priority internationally and domestically.
This Mental Health Week, I encourage you to learn more and join the conversation. Let’s work together to help reduce stigma, this week and every week, so we can become more resilient as individuals and as a community.
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
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