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Mental Health Commission of Canada Statement on Human Rights Day

OTTAWA, Dec. 8, 2017 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), Louise Bradley, President and CEO, made the following statement.

"This year, on December 10, people from all walks of life celebrate Human Rights Day – a day 70 years ago when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Tremendous progress has been made in the seven decades since this document set down the inalienable rights to which every human being is entitled – regardless of race, colour, religion, sex or language. However, we are reminded that those living with mental health problems and illnesses continue to experience blatant discrimination.

Consider that people living with a mental illness are often shut out of the job market, experience ill treatment by health care providers and, in the most egregious instances, are incarcerated as a result of behaviour brought on by illness, rather than given appropriate treatments. People living with mental illness are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, and they are often released with little to no rehabilitation.

Public awareness campaigns have brought mental illness into the spotlight, however we must be vigilant lest discrimination continue to lurk in the shadows. On Human Rights Day, I urge each of you to consider how you can bring a message of belonging to those who remain vulnerable or marginalized. Offering someone with mental illness a job, or even a listening ear, can go a long way towards building the bridges of understanding that lead to acceptance."

THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.

www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca