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Statement by Ontario Health Minister on #BellLetsTalk Day

January 28, 2015 12:30 P.M.

Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, issued the following statement on the occasion of #BellLetsTalk Day to end the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction challenges:

"Today, Canadians across the country are joining together to talk about the importance of supporting our friends, family and fellow citizens who are struggling with mental health and addiction challenges. With the support of Bell Canada and its #BellLetsTalk ambassadors, Canadians are having an important nationwide conversation to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and addictions.

As Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, I am pleased to be a part of that conversation. This afternoon, I will be attending an exciting event hosted by Bell and Cisco that will connect Canadian students across the country for a discussion on mental health and reducing stigma.

Since becoming minister, supporting Ontarians with mental illness and addictions has been a personal priority for me and I want to continue to build on the progress our government has made with our health care partners.  Through the first phase of our Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which focused on children and youth, we hired more than 770 additional mental health workers who are now providing services including treatment for children and youth in communities, schools and courts. 

I was proud to launch the second phase of the strategy in November. We are investing in supportive housing, reducing wait-times so people can access the services they need, and providing more services to help young people with mental illness transition successfully into adulthood.

We know there is more work to do. But we can't do it alone. We must join together to reduce the stigma that surrounds people with mental illness or addictions - stigma that too often can prevent people from receiving the help they need. I want to sincerely thank all of the front-line health care professionals across the province who - every day - go above and beyond for those living with mental health challenges.  

We have all been touched by mental health and addiction challenges - whether it's a friend, a co-worker, a family member or ourselves. Together we must send what is perhaps the most powerful message there is: you are not alone."


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