In recognition of Mental Health Week 2016

Mr. Silver: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I am honoured to also rise today on behalf of the Liberal caucus to pay tribute to Mental Health Week.

Once again, the Canadian Mental Health Association is calling on us to get loud about mental health, get loud to maintain positive mental health, and get loud to get it back.

Mental illness does not discriminate about who it chooses to affect. Many of us — young or old, rich or poor, male or female — can suffer from mental illness. Those with the illness are not the only victims either. Mental illness can affect families, friends and co-workers it not addressed or managed properly.

For too long there has been a stigma attached to mental illness and this needs to stop. We as individuals and we as legislators must create an environment where victims can feel welcomed and supported. Yukoners are starting to talk more about mental health and more often putting it as one of their top concerns. There are more events raising awareness and funds to support local and national organizations taking action to fight mental illness. Now is the time for us to give our support to them.

About a year ago, Mr. Speaker, I put forth a motion for this government to create a mental health strategy for Yukon. I’m very pleased to hear that it will be presented this week. It is an initiative that has been near and dear to my heart. My motion received unanimous support in this Legislative Assembly, acknowledging the importance of mental health in the Yukon and in this Legislature among all members and their commitment to work hard to an all-around healthier community.

Today I participated in the Mental Health Walk from the White Pass Building to Main Street and around the block to the Legislative Assembly and, Mr. Speaker, every time I participate in such events, the conversations and the interactions that I have with people — passionate for their causes — enlighten me and I’m grateful to have such hard‑working, committed individuals in our community. I would like to thank everyone who has put their time and effort into working toward a healthier and more vibrant community.