“Mental illness is as devastating as any disease of the body. All over Alberta, people from every imaginable walk of life suffer in silence. Many may show no outward symptoms, but the pain is still there beneath the surface.
“World Mental Health Day is a reminder not to turn away from this illness or those struggling with it. We have to stop the stigma. We have to fill the silence.
“I’m proud that the Government of Alberta is doing that. Together with AHS and community organizations, we’re leading over 150 initiatives as we move forward with the Valuing Mental Health: Next Steps action plan.
“They include more resources for students in school and post-secondary institutions, expanded community treatment options and improved training for frontline workers like police officers and caregivers.
“All of this makes a difference. But the healing process depends just as much on family, friends and co-workers.
“We all know or have known someone close to us who is dealing with the isolation and despair of mental illness. I encourage everyone to reach out and offer love, care and understanding to that person.
“Let them know they are not alone. Let’s end the shame of mental illness and make Alberta a kinder, more accepting place.”