Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Aglukkaq knows pain caused by suicide

  • Print

IN a personal disclosure illustrating the long reach of mental illness, Canada's health minister said Tuesday she has lost "a number of friends" to suicide.

"Our body gets ill from different things, and so does the mind," Leona Aglukkaq told Postmedia News after leading a roundtable discussion on mental health at the 65th World Health Assembly in Geneva.

"We need to look at mental illness like any other illness," she said. "We need to start breaking down those barriers that individuals with mental illness face."

At Tuesday's session, Aglukkaq showcased -- but did not commit funds to -- Canada's new mental-health strategy, a document years in the making that calls for a significant cash boost -- $3 billion to $4 billion over 10 years -- to overhaul a system so fractured and underfunded many community service groups have dropped waiting lists to avoid giving people false hope that eventually their turn will come.

Aglukkaq said it was clear from her discussions with representatives from several countries -- among them, Australia, Chile, Finland, the U.K., Bangladesh, India and the U.S. --that mental health "is a global priority" and one of the biggest challenges is stigma.

"We believe that acknowledging that mental health is a global issue is the first important step in breaking down the stigma around mental health," she said.

Asked if her own life has been touched by mental illness, Aglukkaq, MP for Nunavut, responded, "Yes, absolutely.

"Family-wise, community, friends. I've also lost a number of friends to suicides," she said. "Whether that was associated (with mental illness) or not, one could never really know. But we make assumptions on why we lose people that we care about.

"But certainly, I've seen people suffer from it, whether from postpartum (depression) or whether through illness ... The North is very small."

-- Postmedia News

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 23, 2012 A7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local/Standup- BABY BISON. Fort Whyte Centre's newest mother gently nudges her 50 pound, female bull calf awake. Calf born yesterday. 25 now in herd. Four more calfs are expected over the next four weeks. It is the bison's second calf. June 7, 2002.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google