“I’m afraid”, “I’m depressed”, “I feel empty”…
These are some of the many things we have heard as MNAs, parents, friends, employers or colleagues since the beginning of the pandemic.
COVID-19 has directly infected over 60, 000 Quebecers to date, but has also affected thousands of other people through the uncertainty, confusion, stress, grief, fear and isolation it generates. The Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, as well as many experts are clear that consequences of the pandemic and the confinement measures on the population’s well-being and mental health are real and significant. Data shows that the number of Quebecers experiencing psychological distress is on the rise; those feelings of anxiety and worry have increased sharply within the context of the pandemic. Suicide prevention groups are concerned.
Because we are preoccupied by the situation too, on August 13, we asked the National Assembly to immediately hold an initiative mandate so that the elected members of the Committee on Health and Social Services could address the situation. By doing so, we could bring together experts from the sector and quickly develop a concerted action plan that would be both transpartisan and supported by the workers who will implement it.
There is an urgent need for action!
Yes, the government has injected money, but it did so without a true portrait of the situation and without a plan. The government’s response remains incomplete. The consequences could be disastrous. We have to ensure that mental health doesn’t become a blind spot in this pandemic.
-Marie Montpetit, Official Opposition Critic for Health
-David Birnbaum, Official Opposition Critic for Mental Health