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Canada's biggest employer to strengthen workplace mental health programs.

VANCOUVER -- Canada's largest employer, the federal government, will pull together its many and disparate mental health services for it employees and set an example in dealing with its own workplace mental health issues.

Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh announced that he has requested the formation of an interdepartmental task force to integrate services and approaches between federal departments with a stake in mental health--including health, treasury board, justice, corrections, and human resources.

He also announced the appointment of Michael Wilson, former federal finance minister, as special advisor to the Health Minister on mental health in the federal government workplace.

Wilson specifically will assist the in the assessment of the government's approach to mental health within the federal workplace.

Wilson has been an advocate of mental health issues since losing his son to suicide. In 2002, he was awarded the Special Recognition Award from the Canadian Psychiatric Association for "unwavering leadership to achieve the goal of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

The Minister will request his ministerial colleagues to identify a senior official within their departments to help coordinate mental health related efforts.

"As the country's largest employer, I want to assess what the federal government is doing to address mental health issues in the workplace," said Minister Dosanjh. "Simply stated, we need to be a leader and example for employers across the country."
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Title Annotation:Health; federal government
Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 21, 2005
Words:221
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