• Post published:August 12, 2020
  • Reading time:2 min(s) read
  • Post category:In Ottawa

For immediate release

Renewed cross-party Mental Health Caucus sets priorities for 43rd Parliament

OTTAWA – Following its first meeting of the 43rd Parliament, select members of the renewed cross-party
Mental Health Caucus have outlined their priorities in a joint letter to Minister of Health Patricia Hajdu.
“The mental health caucus sees the COVID-19 Wellness Together Canada initiative as a good model for
supporting Canadians’ mental health,” said MP Majid Jowhari, caucus co-chair. “We have indicated to
Minister Hajdu that we would like to see this converted to a permanent program that prioritizes funding
to local, community-based mental health organizations across the country through the pandemic and
beyond.”

In the joint letter, the caucus also encouraged the Government of Canada to:

  • collaborate with all levels of government to develop and administer user-focused mental health
    strategies;
  • develop an interactive app that directs users to programs and organizations in their riding or
    municipality; and
  • prepare a significant promotional campaign aligned with Mental Health Awareness Week in
    October.

During the 43rd Parliament, the cross-party caucus will focus on other issues affecting mental health,
including harm reduction strategies, standards of care, suicide prevention, and specific strategies
affecting youth, seniors, Indigenous and Black communities, and frontline essential workers contending
with the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Co-chair MP Majid Jowhari says that “at least 1 in 5 Canadians across all age, education, culture, and
income groups experience issues related to mental health. Those challenges have increased and are due
to increase further as the full impact of the Covid-19 pandemic becomes evident over time.”

The first members of the caucus comprise the caucus co-chairs and include:

  • Majid Jowhari, MP, Richmond Hill
  • Jenica Atwin, MP, Fredericton
  • Gord Johns, MP, Courtenay—Alberni
  • The Hon. Senator Marilou McPhedran
  • The Hon. Senator Kim Pate

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