OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 23, 2021 – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) applauds a Speech from the Throne to open Canada’s 44th Parliament. As part of her speech, Governor General, Mary Simon recognizes the importance of mental health, substance use and addictions at this critical juncture to prevent a shadow pandemic. The mental health and substance use health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to be delayed, complex, and long lasting.
“The Mental Health Commission of Canada echoes the poignant statement from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, that the pandemic has shown us that we need to put a focus on mental health in the same way as physical well-being, because they are inseparable.,” says Michel Rodrigue, President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada.
“Today’s speech was a powerful statement towards equity, the promotion of diversity and inclusion. The prioritization of the disproportionate mental health and substance use health impacts faced by Black and other racialized communities, 2SLGBTQ+ people, and other often marginalized people is a significant step forward,” says Rodrigue.
“The Mental Health Commission of Canada commends the government’s commitments to a distinction-based wellness strategy to support the well-being of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. A journey of Reconciliation supports current and future sustainable, cultural-based and land-based trauma-informed mental health services by and for Indigenous peoples,” adds Rodrigue.
The MHCC looks forward to our work with all parliamentarians to address the disparities the pandemic has brought to light. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to support all those who live in Canada in our collective response to the looming pressures on mental health and substance use health systems.
“Now is a time for action on Mental Health,” concludes Michel Rodrigue,
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada.