Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in the House today in support of Mental Illness Awareness Week, which runs from October 2 to 8 in Canada this year.
Mental Illness Awareness Week was established nearly 20 years ago in order to highlight the challenges and successes of the roughly one in five Canadians who are living with or have had a mental illness. This is also an opportunity for me to join the thousands of Canadians who are calling on this government to implement measures to deal with this issue that costs the Canadian economy close to $14 billion annually.
In 2003, health agencies in Canada joined forces to call for a national plan of action on mental health. Some eight years later, we are still waiting. During this Mental Illness Awareness Week, I am calling on the Canadian government to show its commitment and dedication to all affected Canadians, their doctors and their families by coming up with an effective, comprehensive mental health action plan.