NDP Mental Health and Harm Reduction Critic Gord Johns made the following statement:
"Today, Canadians observe World Mental Health Day. It's a important day to recognize that sound mental health is a universal human right, as declared by the World Health Organization.
Food security, housing and the best possible start in life for our children are all important for good mental health, but many are going without. It's the responsibility of the government to make sure all Canadians can access these needs.
But still, 1 in 2 Canadians will experience a mental illness by the time they reach 40 years of age. Yet, getting the help they need is extremely difficult in Canada. Therapy can be extremely costly without private insurance, and waitlists remain long ever if people are able to afford coverage.
It is our time for our federal government to accept the responsibility of ensuring full and cost-free access to mental health services for all Canadians. And, it is time to achieve parity of mental health care with physical care through hospital and community-based services throughout Canada. Diagnostic and treatment services for anxiety, depression, mood disorder or other mental health illnesses must be as easily accessible.
New Democrats promise not to give up the fight to make mental health care affordable and accessible and to fight against stigma. No one should have to suffer in silence, and together we can support one another".