In Election 2021, our collective priorities seem to be meshing like never before. We are all living through a once in a century pandemic which has killed millions, made hundreds of millions ill, and devastated our individual sense of safety. Intertwined throughout all of this is the mental health toll literarily every household in the country is experiencing.
Prior to the pandemic, 10.4% of Canadians were living with a diagnosed mental illness. Over seven million of us. COVID-19 has perilously increased the number of people who are now struggling with their mental health.
Economically, the business community is also feeling the impact. Many workplaces have shifted to remote and hybrid working models. Enterprises that are reliant on the “in-person” experiences have seen drastic direct workplace closures and restrictions along with subsequent reductions in revenues and profits. These events do not happen without correlated stress and mental health issues.
It is clear that we are now fully involved in a mental health crisis that impacts all Canadians.
This election is fully centred on health care and the need to tackle mental illness and the crush of mental health problems that affects so many of our lives.
Canadians are united in our call to government to fix the broken mental health system we have endured for far too long. We need to support research to tackle mental illness head on. We must invest in collaborations and innovative methods of getting people the help they need, when and where they need it.
No more patches, no more promises. We need to work together to find solutions. Let’s get people who are willing to step up, work together and do things better at the table.
Dave Gallson is the National Executive Director of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com.