Question on federal commitment to mental health

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According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, 500,000 Canadians are unable to work in any given week due to mental health problems.

In your role as Minister of Health, I understand that you have to respect and support the provinces in the delivery of health-care, but the federal government does play an important role in setting standards for effective and appropriate health-care for Canadians, especially for groups such as First Nations, refugees, Canadian Forces, Veterans, and inmates in federal prisons which fall under federal jurisdiction.

Yesterday I met with the Canadian Nurses Association whose delegates highlighted the mental health issues faced by the more than 8.1 million Canadians who perform caregiving duties.

Last week we heard from the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations who emphasized the increase of mental health disabilities among post-secondary students in Canada.

In the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights we heard from refugees and community organizations on the front-lines which are not receiving the appropriate resources to address the very real and unique mental health issues facing Canada’s newcomers.

Can the Minister tell me please what the Government is doing to support the segments of the populations who are battling mental illness and the community organizations who are on the front-lines assisting Canada’s most vulnerable populations?

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