Statement on Mental Illness Awareness Week 2014

This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. The week was established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and is now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) in cooperation with member organizations and supporters across Canada.

“The ongoing stigma surrounding mental illness remains an obstacle to effective diagnosis and treatment. Initiatives like Mental Illness Awareness Week play a valuable role in increasing awareness and breaking down barriers of silence,” said Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands.

“The Mental Health Strategy approved by Health Canada in 2012 was supposed to be a blueprint for change, but today, more than two years on, it remains unclear how much of that strategy has been implemented, what kind of funding commitments are in place, or whether we are any closer to providing the mental healthcare services that Canadians need.”

“Far too many Canadian families, particularly those in rural and northern communities, including First Nations and veterans confronting post-traumatic stress disorder, lack the necessary resources and supports to overcome mental health challenges,” said Green Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer, MP for Thunder Bay–Superior North. “As MPs, it is our collective responsibility to speak out on this issue and to engage in meaningful discussion of solutions.”