Mr. Speaker, this week is National Mental Health Week. It is time for Canadians to become more aware of the effects of mental illness and to gain a better understanding of those who are affected.
The effects of mental illness are far reaching. Twenty per cent of Canadians are directly affected and the remaining 80% will be indirectly affected by illnesses of family members, friends or colleagues.
Awareness campaigns are currently taking place across the country to educate Canadians. This evening the Canadian Mental Health Association is hosting an art exhibition featuring works created by Canadians affected by mental illness. On May 4, Rick Cassey, of Victoria, B.C., embarked on a cross country bike trip to increase awareness of the need for community support.
On behalf of the Canadian Alliance, I ask members of the House to join me in acknowledging the courageous Canadians who daily battle mental illness, as well as the important people who work as mental health workers, the volunteers and the families throughout this great country.