Maple Ridge MP’s youth council tackles topic of mental health

First meeting of group identifies it as one of the most significant issues

  • Jan. 25, 2017 1:00 p.m.
Dan Ruimy

Dan Ruimy

MP Dan Ruimy is partnering with his Constituency Youth Council to uncover and address the major challenges youth face in regards to mental health in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge and across Canada.

Launched in 2016 by Ruimy, the Constituency Youth Council consists of 17 diverse local youth who gather on a regular basis with the MP to discuss a range of issues, of which their findings and recommendations are reported back to the federal government for consideration.

On their first official meeting on Dec. 2, the council selected youth mental health as one of the most significant issues affecting young people in the constituency.

The youth identified common attitudes present in their local high schools and post-secondary institutions surrounding mental health, and expressed that negative attitudes are common, hindering the ability of youth to identify and discuss mental health concerns, as well as seek proper treatment.

The council agreed to create a subcommittee to promote its recommendations.

“I believe that we need to do all we can with the opportunities given to make a positive impact in this situation,” said youth council member Eva Cowley.

“Because mental disorders often begin before the age of 25, it’s so important that we address this issue in our community from a young age, added Dallas Taylor, also a council member.

“As young people ourselves, it’s such a great opportunity for us to directly share our ideas and solutions with the government on an issue that impacts so many of our peers.”