Federal Budget Reduces Stigma of Mental Illness



    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Mental illness has for far too long been
ignored by governments in Canada even as depression has reached epidemic
proportions and Canada's suicide rate has risen to among the highest in the
developed world. The Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) congratulates
Canada's new government on doing something about it in today's budget. The
Canadian Mental Health Commission will be an invaluable resource for all
Canadians. We know that by dealing openly and directly with mental illnesses
and positively promoting mental health that billions of dollars can be saved
and the lives of Canadians can be dramatically improved. Canada's new
government has demonstrated that they understand the needs of the mental
health community.
    "We applaud the government on this important decision," said Phil
Upshall, National Executive Director of MDSC. "We look forward to working with
the government, the Honourable Michael Kirby, Chair of the Commission, and our
partners at CAMIMH to make the Commission a success."
    Mental illness has an impact on all Canadians. More than one-in-five will
be affected by a mental illness in their lifetime. Mental illness is also
particularly worrisome for our First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities
where the rate of suicide is more than twice the rate than in the general
population. It is also extremely challenging in Canadian correctional
facilities which are overwhelmed by inmates who would be better served through
access to mental health support services.
    MDSC congratulates Prime Minister Harper and his team in the Senate and
House of Commons for their exceptional hard work and commitment to improving
the lives of Canadians suffering from mood disorders. We also appreciate the
efforts of Minister Clement and his team, Parliamentary Secretary Stephen
Fletcher, and Minister Flaherty who have shown great leadership on this issue.
The Mood Disorders Society of Canada joins with its partners at the Canadian
Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) and with its partners in
the research community, particularly the Institute of Neuroscience, Mental
Health and Addiction, in anticipating a speedy establishment of the announced
Commission.

    The Mood Disorders Society of Canada is a national, not-for-profit,
volunteer driven organization that is committed to improving the quality of
life for people affected by depression, bipolar disorder and other related
disorders.




For further information:

For further information: Phil Upshall, National Executive Director, The
Mood Disorders Society of Canada, (519) 835-1058, phil@mooddisorderscanada.ca;
Martin Sampson, (613) 238-2090 x351, martin.sampson@fleishman.ca


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