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Message from the Minister of Health and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health – World Mental Health Day

Press Release

From: Health Canada

October 10, 2023

Each and every day, Canadians across the country continue to struggle with their mental health. World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to lift up the voices of those with lived and living experience and raise awareness about the importance of caring for our mental health in Canada and abroad. Today is also a good reminder of why international collaboration makes a difference in supporting good mental health.

This year’s theme is Mental Health is a Universal Human Right. Good mental health is important no matter where you live and we know that there is no health without mental health. Every single person should have access to the mental health support they need, when they need it.

We are committed to listening to Canadians who are struggling and to doing all we can to support positive mental health and to ensure support and resources are available and accessible. We are especially concerned with those who face greater challenges in accessing mental health and substance use supports.

We know, for example, that barriers exist because of stigma, discrimination, socio-economic status or social exclusion. This is why we are working to improve mental health literacy across the country to equip people in Canada with knowledge and skills needed to take care of their mental health and support the mental health of friends and family. This is why we are committed to increasing access to the full continuum of mental health and substance use services through a compassionate and human-centred approach. In fact, this is key to our health care plan.

Our youth are particularly struggling and this is a key priority for us. We know that integrated services can make a real difference in the lives of kids and teens. That is why we are working with the provincial and territorial governments to build the right integrated services networks to ensure our kids and our youth are not left behind.

Part of this effort means collaboration with our partners around the world to discuss the future of mental health and share our culturally safe, trauma-informed and community-based approaches to support mental health—approaches that are built on evidence.

What we really want to leave you with is a simple reminder that it is never too late to ask for help or to offer help to a friend. It may just be lending an ear, or sharing resources like Wellness Together Canada, the online portal which provides free mental health information and support 24/7, the Kids Help Phone which is also available 24/7 for free, confidential support to young people or the Hope For Wellness Helpline which provides Indigenous Peoples with immediate emotional support and crisis intervention with experienced and culturally sensitive helpline counsellors.

As of November 30, 2023, the 9-8-8 suicide prevention and emotional distress support service will offer 24 hours a day and seven days a week, trauma-informed and culturally appropriate suicide prevention crisis support in English and French by phone and text for everyone living in Canada, including those most affected by suicide.

We wish to express our gratitude and thanks to all the incredible community and health organizations who provide mental health and substance use services and supports from coast, to coast, to coast for Canadians

Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. Help is available, and we are all here to listen. There can be no health without mental health. Let’s keep working together to end the stigma and improve mental health care for everyone.

The Honourable Mark Holland, P.C., M.P.
The Honourable Ya’ara Saks P.C., M.P.


Christopher Aoun
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Mark Holland
Minister of Health

Alexander Fernandes
Press Secretary and Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Ya’ara Saks
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
and Associate Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada


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