GG’s statement on Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week is held from October 2 to 8

David and Sharon Johnston

David and Sharon Johnston

OTTAWA – On the occasion of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), my wife, Sharon, and I are proud to add our voices to the ongoing dialogue on mental health.

More than one in five people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime, and certain symptoms can have a significant impact on virtually every aspect of their daily lives. Over the six years that we have been at Rideau Hall, Sharon and I have travelled throughout this country and learned so much about innovations in mental health. We have seen that there are many effective treatments, but we also have seen that too few people seek the help they need because of the stigmas that persist.

MIAW is an annual public education campaign that gives Canadians the opportunity to learn more about the realities of mental illness. During our visit to the province of Quebec this week, Sharon will be meeting with individuals working in this field and others who are benefitting from the services offered by community-based organizations. I encourage each of you to follow her example.

Thank you to everyone challenging the stigmatization of mental illness and striving to ensure the well-being of those living with one of these conditions. Know that we stand with you.

David and Sharon Johnston

Office of the  Governor General of Canada

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