OTTAWA— Liberal Health critic Dr. Hedy Fry made the following statement today on Mental Illness Awareness Week:
“With a growing mental health crisis in Canada – affecting one in five Canadians and costing the economy $50 billion a year – the federal government has a responsibility to play a leadership role in improving mental health outcomes for all Canadians. This includes reducing the stigma of mental illness, dealing with the associated social determinants of poor mental health, such as poverty and homelessness, and increasing access to mental health services for those in the federal government’s direct jurisdiction, including for Aboriginal communities, veterans, the Canadians Forces, the RCMP and inmates in our Correctional system.
Liberals continue to work in Parliament to pressure this Conservative government to take real action on mental illness. From our Opposition Day motion calling for the creation of a National Suicide Prevention Strategy, to our persistent appeals to the government to fully implement the Mental Health Commission’s landmark Mental Health Strategy for Canada, we are making mental health a priority.
On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I encourage all Canadians to fight the stigma of mental illness through communication, education and understanding, and I call on the federal government to meet with the provinces to negotiate a comprehensive Canadian mental health strategy.”