My work on mental health and wellness:
While the work of an MP is very demanding and often pulls us in many different directions, I’ve had the opportunity to focus my energies on the things that matter most to the people of this riding. In my personal and professional background, I knew mental health services in the greater Fredericton area were lacking. On the campaign trail last year it was the number one issue people raised with me at the doors. This concern has been reiterated again and again in conversations with constituents.
We need to scale up local mental health services in a big way: from mental health first aid for individuals, advocates and allies, to faster access to psychiatrists and counselors for people in crisis, to better awareness of the impact of our everyday routines on our mental health, such as sleep cycles or nutrition, for example. And of course, we need a guaranteed liveable income to provide people the security they need at this uncertain time. The urgency of the situation is only going to grow as we face a second wave of COVID-19, reduced sunlight hours and the isolation that winter brings, and the long term impacts of the echo-pandemic mental health experts have been warning about. All of that to say, this is my top priority as MP for Fredericton, Oromocto, and surrounding areas.
This sort of work requires an all-hands-on-deck approach and that is why I have taken on the role as co-chair of the all-party caucus on Mental Health alongside MPs from across the nation. My colleagues and I have started with three goals:
- To expand and continue the wellnesstogether.ca portal to better serve Canadians by region and to make it more user friendly and accessible.
- To convince the government to bring more funding directly into communities by funding the service provider organizations directly.
- To use Mental Health Awareness week to push the conversation beyond simply destigmatizing mental illness toward real action, networking and access to practical resources. Check out some of my posts for MHAW.
If you have suggestions for my work on this caucus, please let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org