Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Judy Darcy has issued the following statement regarding Mental Illness Week, Oct. 1–7, 2017, and World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10, 2017:
“Mental-health issues affect British Columbians in so many ways and mental illness doesn’t discriminate.
“Parents, spouses, siblings and children throughout our province are deeply affected when they, or someone in their family, are dealing with a mental-health issue. We worry. It puts immense strain on our relationships. We try to hide what’s going on because of the stigma we face.
“Mental illness also touches so many of us through our workplaces or circle of friends ― people we care about deeply and see every day often end up feeling isolated and alone ― and we struggle to figure out the best ways to help them.
“As the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, I am truly touched by the stories that brave people shared with me about their struggles with mental illness.
“One in four British Columbians will deal with a mental-health issue in their lifetime. Many people suffer in a dark silence ― a silence that exists because of shame and judgement ― instead of talking openly about this illness.
“This is why Mental Illness Week and World Mental Health Day are so important to recognize. They are a way to combat the stigma that prevents those living with mental-health issues from sharing their struggles with their family and friends. Bringing these issues out into the open contributes to true understanding about mental illness, what's at stake and what we can do that really could make a difference.
“We all need to work together to eliminate the stigma and start creating a more seamless, co-ordinated system ― where people who are struggling with mental illness can ask for help once and get help fast.
“For Mental Illness Week, World Mental Health Day and every day, I ask all British Columbians to find the courage to have honest talks with their friends, loved ones and co-workers, and to open their hearts and minds, so that people with mental illness can find their way to a better life with the dignity and care that they deserve.”