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Archived - Mental Illness Awareness Week

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October 9, 2014

More than one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in their lifetime. Two thirds won’t get any help because of the stigma associated with mental illness—stigma that forces them to suffer in silence.

Mental Illness Awareness Week, is a good time to remember that the more open we are about mental health and wellness, the healthier we all become.

Good mental health begins with a supportive community. Advancing mental health in Canada requires all of us—government at all levels, professionals, communities, workplaces and individuals—to work together.

Our Government is committed to supporting the mental health and wellness of Canadians. In 2006, the Government of Canada committed $130 million to establish and support the Mental Health Commission of Canada which has developed a national mental health strategy that draws upon the experiences of thousands of Canadians—and offers governments, healthcare providers, communities and individuals a blueprint for change. The Commission is making good progress in reducing stigma associated with mental health and acting as a driver for change.

The Government of Canada also remains committed to supporting the mental wellness of Aboriginal individuals, families and communities and in particular those affected by the inter-generational impacts of residential schools. Health Canada will invest more than $236 million in 2014-15 to support mental health and addictions programming for First Nations and Inuit communities through mental health promotion, addiction and suicide prevention, mental health counselling, addictions treatment and crisis response services.

We continue to expand our investments in mental health and mental illness. Our $5.2 million investment in the Mood Disorders Society of Canada is helping to connect researchers across the country and allow them to focus on depression, suicide prevention and post-traumatic stress.

We have also committed up to $100 million in matched funds to support neuroscience research through the Canada Brain Research Fund, which aims to improve the health and quality of life for Canadians suffering from mental illness, brain disorders and brain injuries.

During Mental Illness Awareness Week, I encourage you to learn more about mental health and wellness. We can all make a difference in creating a climate of openness and acceptance so that nobody has to suffer in silence.


The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Health

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