10 October 2022
With a theme this year of working to make mental health for all a global priority, we all have a role in ensuring that resources, affordable access to services and support, increased awareness, an end to the stigma, and much more are all achieved. On World Mental Health Day 2022 (WMHD), I look back at all of the work and improvements that have been achieved by people across Canada, such as the implementation of a 988 crisis number starting in November of 2023, continued work to end the stigma by amazing community organizations, and much more; however, I also look forward and continue to highlight the need by everyone to ensure that services, such as a 988, are accessible, supportive of one's needs, and are able to provide the life-saving services that individuals may need. With 1 in 5 Canadians experiencing a mental health-related problem/illness, suicide being the 9th leading cause of death in Canada, LGBTQ and marginalized individuals being more likely to report depression, anxiety, and unmet mental health needs, and about 21% of the Canadian population meeting the criteria for addiction in their lifetime, more needs to be done to support the mental health needs of Canadians. This WMHD, I start calls to the Government of Canada to:
Increase the portion of the federal health budget dedicated to mental health and addictions to 11%;
Create a National Suicide Prevention Strategy with specific focus sections on marginalized, Indigenous, and LGBTQ individuals and youth;
and I continue calls to ensure that the implementation of the National 988 Suicide and Crisis Line in November of 2023 remains accessible to everyone in Canada no matter where they are.
This WMHD, I continue calls to the Ontario Government to:
Work to bridge the gap in services and knowledge of mental health services;
Work to ensure proper funding that is evidence-based for the needs of people in Ontario;
Work to reduce wait times through collaboration with community partners and service providers.
This WMHD, your mental health can not wait any longer. This WHMD, let's make mental health a priority for all. ###