The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) named Majid Jowhari, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill, this year’s Parliamentary Mental Health Champion. Each year, following a national, open nomination process, CAMIMH selects individuals and organizations as Champions – recognizing them for their outstanding contributions to mental health in Canada.
Majid Jowhari is a staunch advocate for mental health in Canada. He drafted and introduced legislation to change the criminal code, which would take mental health information into account during pre-sentencing, and founded and chaired the Liberal Mental Health Caucus, and later, the Parliamentary Mental Health Caucus, reaching across party lines to bring mental health to the forefront of discussion on the Hill.
“We had so many incredible nominations this year; inspirational stories from all across the country,” said CAMIMH Campaign Chair, Fred Phelps. “It was a challenging process, and we are thrilled to announce these Champions, all of whom are change-makers in their community, working to create a safe space for discussions surrounding mental health and for those living with mental illness.”
The Champions of Mental Health Awards are a key component of CAMIMH’s annual awareness campaigns and are made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Bell Let’s Talk.
Majid Jowhari was named the 2018 Parliamentary Champion alongside champions representing youth, media, and research, and who have bettered their communities and workplaces at an event held Tuesday, May 8, hosted by the Minister of Health, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, as well as comedian and author Jessica Holmes.
“When I arrived in Canada as a young man, transitioning into a new lifestyle in a new country, I struggled – as did many of the students around me – with what we now rightfully call mental health.” said Majid Jowhari, “We didn’t talk about it back then, understand it, or have access to the services so many Canadians rely on today. It’s one of the reasons I’ve committed to ending the stigma, raising the issue in Parliament, and advocating for a new paradigm that will bring our mental health services into line with the healthcare standards Canadians across the country take pride in.”