From May 3-9 we mark Mental Health Week. The 2021 edition is different from the others because Canadians face so many uncertainties as a result of COVID-19, and we know that the mental health of many people is suffering.
This annual campaign invites communities, schools and workplaces to come together to celebrate, protect and promote mental health. This year’s theme, “Understanding Your Emotions,” invites Canadians to recognize, label and welcome their emotions rather than pushing them away, especially as many people continue to experience unprecedented feelings of anxiety related to COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing containment.
We all need to work to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and start the conversation while making sure everyone has access to the care they need.
Here is what our government has done and will continue to do to support the mental health of Canadians:
- In April 2020, we launched the Wellness Together Canada portal, a mental health and substance use portal that provides Canadians with free, confidential services with mental health professionals. Since its launch, more than 1.2 million Canadians have accessed the Wellness Together Canada (WTC) portal;
- In Fall 2020, we launched the Mental Health for Black Canadians Fund to promote positive mental health for Black Canadians;
- Last Spring, we invested $7.5 million in Kids Help Phone to increase access to supports for Canadian youth;
- And through Budget 2021, we are committing:
- to develop national mental health service standards;
- to support projects for mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including healthcare workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized and Black Canadians;
- to support a trauma and PTSD stream of mental health programming for populations at high risk of experiencing COVID-19 trauma and those exposed to various trauma brought about by COVID-19;
- investments in the Wellness Together Canada portal to continue providing Canadians with their mental health and well-being;
- to supporting CRTC in creating and launching a three-digit hotline so Canadians have a memorable number they can call when they need help.
Our government will continue to do all it can to support the health and well-being of Canadians during this difficult time.