October 10th, 2018

NDP Statement on World Mental Health Day

Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement

“All of us, at some time in our lives, will be affected by mental illness – be it through a family member, a friend or work colleague. Mental health problems affect one in five people in Canada - people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures - and every week 500,000 people miss work because of a mental health problem or illness.

When it happens to us, or to someone in our family, we worry. And trying to hide what’s going on ― because of the stigma and shame – is something we have to confront. And as the people we care about suffer in silence, and become increasingly isolated, we struggle to figure out how to help.

That’s why I’m always touched when people tell me their stories of struggling with mental illness. This seemingly simple act of sharing takes immense courage, and is also the greatest contributor to eliminating the stigma associated with mental health.

On this World Mental Health Day, I encourage everyone to learn more about mental health and wellness, and open their hearts and minds to remove the barriers preventing people from sharing their struggles. Let’s also eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness by creating home and work environments where people feel they can ask for help.

According to the Canadian Mental Health ‎Association, Canada only devotes 7.2 per cent of overall health care spending to mental health. This puts us near the bottom of other OECD countries. New Democrats are committed to fighting for more support and funding for mental health awareness and support services. Together, we can make a difference, by supporting both physical and mental wellness in our lives.”