A challenge to Canadian politicans:
Step up and do better!
Governments at all levels have failed Canadian families and individuals struggling with mental health and addictions issues. Politicians say they are concerned and attempt to demonstrate their commitment by increasing spending by millions of dollars or supporting this or that program. Despite what politicians claim, everywhere you look in Canada from the west coast to the east coast to the far north, Canadians are struggling to get the services and supports they need. Often they don't get the help they need. Too often, the results are tragic and terrifying. It's time for politicians to step up and do better!
Advocate asks MPs to comment on the mental health crisis in their constituencies
The federal government must show leadership in dealing with Canada’s mental health and addictions crisis which is getting worse because of the pandemic, says mental health advocate Noah Irvine.
“The covid pandemic is attacking the mental health of Canadians from school children who want to see and play with their friends to seniors who are cut off from their families. There are also the Canadians who have been suffering mental illness for years and now find those limited resources and even harder to get,” says Irvine
“Constitutionally, health is a provincial responsibility but when Canadians from coast to coast to coast are suffering and dying from a similar tragedy, the federal government can and should have a leading role in addressing it,” said Irvine who lost his mother to suicide when he was five and his to an accidental overdose when he was 15.
Irvine urges the federal government to create a Ministry of Mental and Addictions. He has two reasons. One, a ministry would have the ability bring all levels of government – federal, provincial, territorial, municipal, and Indigenous – together to share information and develop
Letters sent to every Member of Parliament asking them to support federal government leadership in Canada's mental health and addictions crisis. For information on Noah's earlier activities, copy and paste the following into a browser: "Noah Irvine" and "mental Health"
solutions. Two, a seat around the cabinet table could ensure that all federal legislation and policies are reviewed from a mental health and addictions perspective. Any possible mental health and addictions concerns could be addressed before legislation and policy is implemented.
“When I wrote to some 1,200 politicians about Canada’s mental health and addictions crisis, a common theme among those who wrote back was that all levels of government must work together to deal with the crisis. There was strong support to bring municipalities into the discussions. They feel the direct impact of the crisis on their streets and in the services they provide,” said Irvine.
“A federal Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions would show the government’s commitment to mental health in all its activities. It would be a model for other levels of government. It would be leadership by example.”
In his letter which was sent to their constituency offices, Irvine asks MPs to comment on the mental health and addictions crisis in their communities and nationally.
“MPs are elected to represent their constituents but they have the responsibility to look at issues nationally, particularly when a crisis, such as mental health and addictions, reaches into every corner and constituency in the country,” he said.