December 16th 2021:
Mr. Speaker, over the past two years, young people across the country have been struggling with increasing rates of mental distress. I have heard these concerns directly from my constituents in Fredericton.
I think about all the students I met who were managing the difficulties of online learning while being isolated from friends and experiencing financial stress. Young Canadians have been serving as essential workers on the front lines of the pandemic as well, from stocking grocery shelves to staffing vaccine clinics. They stepped up and put their own health at risk while trying to learn and build our collective future. I know it has not been easy.
My message to them today is one of validation, appreciation and hope. I want to tell young people that we see their struggles and we support them. Our government is making historic investments to improve access to mental health services, including expanding access to services on college and university campuses, but there is much more work to do.
I call on members from all sides of this House to work together to ensure that every young person in Canada can access affordable, timely and culturally competent mental health care anywhere in the country. Our youth deserve nothing less.