Mental health day needed

I'm writing as a student, a mental health advocate, a junior hockey player in Kelowna and a community leader, in support of Petition E-1736, recognizing every Oct. 10 as World Mental Health Day and I urge all Canadians to sign this on-line document.

The petition to the House of Commons states:

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" Mental health affects all Canadians at some time in their lives, possibly through a family member, or friend;

" In any given year, 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental health illness or addiction problem. By the time Canadians reach 40 years of age, 1 in 2 have - or have had - a mental illness;

" Almost 1 in 10 adults will have gone through a major depression at some point in their lives, and the total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million;

" Canadian youth who experience early adversity such as childhood trauma, are more likely to develop mental health problems of all severity;

" An estimated 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness, and 75% of all mental disorders show their first onset before the age of 25;

" Among Canadians aged 15 to 24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death. Within indigenous communities, the suicide rate is 5 to 7 times higher than the broader Canadian average; and

" World Mental Health Day is observed on October 10th each year to raise awareness of mental health issues, advocate to end the social stigma of mental health and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health.

"We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to designate October 10 every year, as World Mental Health Day in Canada."

Myles Matilla


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