Tag Archives: Right By You Campaign

Action: Lives of four busloads of Canadian youth at stake in Federal budget

Jeff Moat, CEO of Partners for Mental Health, at OPSEU Tuesday.

Jeff Moat, CEO of Partners for Mental Health, at OPSEU Tuesday.

The change in fortune for the federal government is making Jeff Moat very nervous.

The CEO of Partners for Mental Health, Moat has been lobbying federal MPs to support a five-year $100 million project to pilot a youth suicide prevention program that has already shown impressive results in Europe. In Canada three times as many youth (15-24) die from suicide than by all forms of cancer.

Moat says MPs have been very receptive to the proposal, but a drop in government revenues from falling oil prices likely means the Partners will have to demonstrate significant public support to keep it in this year’s budget.

Normally delivered in February, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver recently announced he was pushing the budget back to April or later to deal with the current economic instability brought on by falling energy prices. That has prompted fears that the Harper government is taking a chainsaw to the supports Canadians need in order to keep the Prime Minister’s promise of a balanced budget.

The proposal the Partners have brought to the federal government is based on one piloted by the Nuremburg Alliance in Germany that reduced youth suicide by a staggering 24 per cent. That initiative takes a whole community approach to suicide prevention, giving everyone a role from mental health and child welfare professionals to police, teachers and the media.

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Campaign calls for federal $100 million suicide prevention fund

Partners for Mental Health have launched a new campaign to get the help that Canadian youth need.

Called “The Right By You” campaign, the advocacy group is asking Canadians to speak out, urging provincial governments to cover mental health care for all children and youth as well as to establish a $100 million federal suicide prevention fund.

According to the Partners, three of four children and youth with a mental health problem or illness will not receive treatment. Twenty per cent of those diagnosed will have to wait more than a year to receive treatment. Further, nearly one in four deaths of youth aged 15-19 are the result of suicide.

The campaign website is loaded with the tools activists need to push the issue out into the community. That includes an on-line petition and a connection to federal MPs in which you can use the Partner’s sample letter or create your own.

The site also includes a collection of stories by Canadians who have been affected by mental illness, including several heartbreaking videos of parents who have lost a child to suicide.

To watch the short “Right By You” campaign video, click on the box below.