Canada Needs to Step Up For Mental Health

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My name is Noah Irvine, I am a first year Political Science student at the University of Guelph. I started this petition to raise an important issue that has personally affected myself and my family. Fourteen years ago, I lost my mother to suicide. I was five years old. She was just 24. Then in 2015, my father lost his battle with mental illness and addictions. He was 40. 

These two losses, as tragic as they may be, inspired me to call upon politicians across Canada to do more for individuals like my mom and dad. They are not the only individuals to die in our mental health and addictions system. They are examples of those lost and suffering from our ineffective and dysfunctional system. 

Every successful candidate in the federal election, regardless of their political party, should know that they represent individuals and families experiencing the tragedy of Canada’s mental health and addictions crisis. 

The suffering caused by the shortage of mental health support in Canada is well known and documented in every province, territory and municipality. Despite the nationwide desperation of families and individuals, there’s no national leadership for mental health care. Every candidate can do better by standing for national leadership in Canada’s mental and addictions crisis.

To do this, I believe we need a Secretariat for Mental Health and Addictions in the Prime Minister’s Office. A Secretariat brings national focus to a national crisis and a way for all levels of government — federal, provincial, territorial — to work together.

Since February 2017, I’ve written more than 1,200 personalized letters (not emails) to politicians at all levels including every MP, MLA, MNA and MPP in Canada. It was a call for the federal government to step up and start the desperately needed transformation of our mental health care system. 

My mom and dad should not have died because our country has an ineffective mental health and addictions system. It is up to us to create the medicare system which meets the physical and mental needs Canadians. 

It’s time to finally lay the groundwork for national unity, for my mom and dad and the thousands of other Canadians who need and deserve a functioning mental health and addictions system. 

Please support this petition to create a Secretariat for Mental Health and Addictions in the Prime Minister’s Office, whatever the election results may be.  Encourage all candidates to step up and do better.

Thank you for your support, 

Noah Irvine