Mr. Speaker, since its inauguration in 1992, Mental Illness Awareness Week has sought to open our eyes to the reality of mental illness.
Those who suffer from it have remained in the shadows for far too long. Too many of them are reluctant to seek the help they need, and the general public is insufficiently aware of the burden mental illness places on society.
Mental Illness Awareness Week seeks to raise awareness of the level of mental illness in Canada; to reduce negative stigma about mental illness; and to promote the positive effects of best practice in prevention, diagnosis and medical treatment.
If we know more about mental illness we will be able to detect it early and offer help when it is needed. Any one of us can be affected, regardless of age, financial position, race or gender.
I encourage my colleagues to be part of the solution, and to visit the Mental Illness Awareness Week site in order to learn more about how to deal with this illness and to dispel the misconceptions that surround it.