Saskatchewan Supports Mental Health Commission

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Saskatchewan Supports Mental Health Commission

by NationTalk on September 2, 20071464 Views

News Release – August 31, 2007

Minister of Healthy Living Services Graham Addley today commended the federal government for appointing a board of directors to govern the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

“This is an important milestone for an organization that will work with provinces, territories and non-governmental groups to improve mental health services for all Canadians,” Addley said.

“The Government of Saskatchewan supports collaborative efforts to better address the problem of mental illness.”The Mental Health Commission of Canada was created on the recommendation of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, which was chaired by Senator Michael Kirby.

In 2003, the Standing Committee undertook the first-ever study of mental health, mental illness and addiction in Canada. In its final report, the Standing Committee made more than 100 recommendations to improve services and raise public awareness about the issue of mental illness.

Today, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the appointment of a board of 18 directors to govern the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Kirby, who is now retired from the Senate, will serve as chair of the commission. A third of the directors are appointments of the federal government, the provinces and territorial governments. The remainder of the board is made up of non-governmental directors.

Saskatchewan Health Deputy Minister John Wright will serve as the provincial government’s representative on the commission’s board of directors.

Dr. Fern Stockdale-Winder, the director of the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the Saskatoon Health Region, is the non-governmental appointment from Saskatchewan.

Addley said both Wright and Stockdale-Winder are good choices for the commission’s board.

“Dr. Fern Stockdale-Winder has worked with Saskatchewan residents for over 10 years, as a clinician and an educator,” Addley said.

“For more than 30 years, John Wright has distinguished himself working on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan in various capacities.”

The Mental Health Commission of Canada will have three main priorities. It will work to develop a public awareness campaign that will reduce the stigma of mental illness; it will develop a national strategy to address mental illness; and it will create a knowledge exchange centre that will provide information about mental health and mental illness to governments, service providers, researchers and the general public.

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For more information, contact:

Joan Petrie
Health
Regina
Phone: 306-787-4083

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