Mr. Speaker, for 70 years now the Canadian Mental Health Association has recognized Mental Health Week, and today marks the beginning of yet another. Thankfully, the conversation around mental health, mental illness and mental injury has evolved over the last 70 years. The stigma associated with mental illness has been reduced, but this is not good enough. Ultimately, the stigma must be eliminated.
One in five Canadians experiences a mental health issue in any given year, but all have mental health. Sadly, the last year of lockdowns, isolation, job losses and uncertainty has led to more anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings.
As we begin Mental Health Week this year, my message to Canadians is this: It is okay not to be okay. These are not normal times, but we will get back to normal. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. They are loved and the world is a better place because they are in it. We must check on family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, talk to them, but more importantly, listen and be kind.
Let us continue the conversation and let us end the stigma. There is no health without mental health.