(Files by Dione Wearmouth-MyPGNow)
Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty is being awarded for his work in suicide prevention.
Doherty was recently given the 2021 Champion of Mental Health Awareness Award in the Parliamentarian category from the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health.
“I’m truly honoured and humbled but we’ve got a lot more work to do and we’re going to continue fighting for those that don’t have a voice,” he said.
Last December, he introduced a bill calling on the federal government to create a national three-digit suicide prevention line, 9-8-8 and it was unanimously supported by parliamentarians from all parties at the time.
He says it has since received plenty of support from all over Canada, including support from national organizations and over 400 communities.
Doherty says this bill is more important than ever, especially since the pandemic has made an impact on the health and wellbeing of the Canadian population.
“There’s increased anxiety, increased domestic violence, alcoholism, substance abuse and increased suicidal ideation too, so now more than ever we need to do whatever we can to make it easier for those that are at the point where they’re going to ask for help,” he explained.
He is one of seven Canadians to be given this award and says it’s great that the important work being done is being recognized by a national organization.