Minister’s Message – National Mental Health Week – May 5-11, 2014

May 5, 2014

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s National Mental Health Week is an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the importance of mental health as a crucial part of overall well-being throughout a person’s life. It is important to take care of your mental health, as well as contribute to the mental health of those around you.

We understand that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness. Mental health allows you to feel, think and act in ways that help you enjoy life, handle its everyday stresses, and relate to others emotionally.

Promoting mental health among Canadians requires the combined efforts of all levels of government, health professionals, communities, workplaces and individuals.

The Government of Canada contributes to these efforts by investing in mental health promotion, research and programs. This includes establishing the Mental Health Commission of Canada, as well as supporting the Canada Brain Research Fund to advance knowledge of brain disease and mental disorders. In addition, the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Innovation Strategy is investing in projects across 230 communities that support the mental well-being of children, youth and families.

First Nations and Inuit have distinct approaches for promoting and improving the mental health and well-being of their members. Health Canada supports them to deliver a suite of programs aimed at mental health promotion, and preventing and treating mental health and addictions issues. In 2014/15, these programs represent $236 million in federal investment. In addition, the National Aboriginal Youth Suicide Prevention Strategy is providing $13.7 million to 138 community-based projects across Canada.

As Minister of Health, I encourage every Canadian to take time during National Mental Health Week to think about his or her mental health, as well as that of family and friends. All of us have a role to play in reducing the stigma surrounding mental health. Collectively, we can create and enjoy vibrant Canadian communities with strong mental health.


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