Mental Health Week

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In recognition of Mental Health Week May 3-9, I draw attention to recent mental health announcements, not simply to commemorate the occasion, but because this year’s Mental Health Week is different.
Canadians are facing many uncertainties because of COVID-19, and many

In recognition of Mental Health Week May 3-9, I draw attention to recent mental health announcements, not simply to commemorate the occasion, but because this year’s Mental Health Week is different.
Canadians are facing many uncertainties because of COVID-19, and many
people’s mental health is suffering. Every community member must work to break down the stigma of discussing mental health with others and accessing support.
In April 2020, the Wellness Together Canada portal was launched. It’s a mental health and substance use portal that provides free, confidential services with mental health professionals. Since its launch, more than 1.2 million Canadians have accessed it. Also, in Spring 2020, the federal government invested $7.5 million in Kids Help Phone to increase access to supports for Canadian youth.
In Fall 2020, the Mental Health for Black Canadians Fund was launched to promote positive mental health for Black Canadians.
Federal Budget 2021 includes commitments to: develop national mental health service standards; support projects for mental health interventions for
populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 (e.g. front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people); support a trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) stream of mental health programming for populations experiencing or at high risk of experiencing COVID-19 trauma; and supporting The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to create a three-digit hotline so Canadians have a memorable number to call when they need help.
I encourage everyone to share messages of support and to talk openly about the importance of mental health in our lives. While Outaouais mental healthcare services are primarily provincially delivered through CISSSO, many non-profits like Suicide Detour in the MRC Vallee-de-la-Gatineau and Connexions Resource Centre in Gatineau and Shawville provide distinct and complementary
mental health supports.
We all struggle in different ways, and while sometimes it’s visible, more often it’s not. Simply starting a conversation and checking with neighbours, friends, and loved ones to see how they are doing is so important.

William Amos
PONTIAC MP