By James Ferguson
Feb. 4, 2014
Patrick Ledwell had a job to do. Make people laugh.
The comedian did just that Feb. 3 as part of a presentation on mental health.
Health Minister Doug Currie, Reid Burke, the executive director of Canadian Mental Health Association of P.E.I. and Amanda Brazil, director of programs and policy, were at the presentation as well in Charlottetown on Feb. 3.
The three spoke at the Holland College gym about the need to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and fight depression and possible suicide.
Mental illness has been getting more and more serious over the years in Canada, and with a rise in major depression and suicide. In 2009, there were 3,890 suicides in Canada.
Currie said a big part of reducing the number of suicides across the province is to remove the shame surrounding mental illness.
“We must provide support to those who have mental illness. People can get better, if we understand what they’re going through.”
Burke said Canadians must develop strategies to have more normal reactions and fewer abnormal actions.
“We can make a huge influence on the people who suffer from mental illness, such as depression, both positive and negative. We need to keep stresses in perspective.”