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Policy Briefing: Mental Health on the Hill
MPs, Senators, and staffers have unique stresses that come from working at the heart of democracy, but most cite physical activity and setting good boundaries as ways they ensure good mental health. The Hill Times file photograph

To guard mental health, Hillites recommend exercise, eating right, and saying no

Parliament Hill is a unique place to work with equally unique stressors on mental health, such as job instability, long hours, and loneliness.
In the blink of an eye your life is radically changed. You may have limited experience overseeing staff, yet now you need to hire for two offices, all while facing political pressures. It’s sink or swim.
Can the House of Commons do better? Yes, we can. And we will. We continue to seek ways to raise awareness of support programs and improve and expand them.
The Conservatives have introduced mental health workshops at their semi-annual staff training conferences, and MPs are being taught to recognize the signs of poor mental health.
My path to social work began at age 13, when my brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. The stigma was powerful. Now, as health minister, I’m heartened to know that today my brother’s diagnosis would be seen very differently. Progress is possible.
Opinion|Tim Powers
Nearly 25 years ago, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. It sounded like a lifetime sentence of misery, but it propelled me on a journey that has led to much awakening.
I have spoken at great length about my role as a Bell Let’s Talk ambassador and about my own mental health struggles. My story is not too different from many Canadians.

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