Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann released the following statement to mark Mental Health Week.
“The theme for this year’s Mental Health Week is ‘Sick of Waiting: Get Loud for Mental Health.’ Across the country, Canadians are calling for earlier intervention for those in distress, and action on the long waits for mental health care.
“Mental health is a critical part of our overall health, and must be properly planned and funded in our health system. At present there are still too many barriers to treatment, and too many people are unable to afford critical counselling and psychological help.
“This is also a deep concern when discussing our management of the ongoing opiate overdose crisis, which is now claiming two lives every day and cries out for focused leadership and a coordinated plan. It is unacceptable that we have few, if any, after-hours treatment facilities, leaving few alternatives to those trying to get help after hours.
“At the end of the day, however, the stigma surrounding mental health issues remains the greatest barrier to treatment. We are all responsible for making it easier for people to reach out for help, and avoid unhealthy options like drug abuse to address the pain.
Each of us can play a critical role as we reach out to offer support and speak out for better mental health services, so those who are suffering know they are not alone and that help is available.