News Release Article from  Health Canada

Harper Government leads an international roundtable on mental health

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May 22, 2012
For immediate release

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today led an international roundtable to discuss common challenges and promising practices in addressing mental health issues.

Today's discussions underlined one of the key messages in the Mental Health Commission of Canada's recent National Mental Health Strategy: wherever we may be on this globe, there is no one approach, no single solution to addressing the challenges of mental illness.

"Mental health is a global issue. The goal of the roundtable was to provide us with a key opportunity to exchange ideas on current approaches in addressing mental health issues at the national and international level," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Our government is serious about advancing mental health issues, and will continue to work with national and international partners."

The recent launch of the Mental Health Commission of Canada's first National Mental Health Strategy marked an important milestone for Canada and Canadians.

"Today's meeting was extremely valuable for us in learning what is underway internationally to improve our understanding and treatment of mental health and mental illness," said Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. "It also gave us an opportunity to share Canadian initiatives, including our national strategy, with colleagues in other countries. What is clear is that mental health and mental illness are global challenges, and changing attitudes and behaviours is a necessary component of improving the health and quality of life of all citizens."

Participating in the discussions were representatives from Australia, Chile, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Barbados, India, Argentina and the United States. The group discussed approaches, challenges and solutions to addressing mental health. Dr. David Goldbloom, Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, also took part in the meeting.

The roundtable took place during the Minister's attendance at the 65th World Health Assembly where she addressed the plenary session in a statement that encompassed Canada's commitment to strengthening mental health care.

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