Exactly one week from today, it’s the one-year anniversary of the declaration of a state of emergency in Ontario. The days leading up to March 17, 2020 were the first test of our collective mental health, watching the number of COVID cases steadily increase until things started locking down. But the struggles didn’t end last March, and they show no signs of abating this current month even though the end of the pandemic may be near.
Noah Irvine knows something about living with the consequences of mental health issues for a long time. He lost both his parents to the crisis, and then, while he was still in high school, he decided to try and do something about it. He started writing letters to political leaders at all levels of government, and he enjoyed some success too, but whether it’s Guelph’s mayor or Canada’s prime minister, one letter only gets you so far.
So recently Irvine, now a University of Guelph student, was back at. In his new letter, he tackled not just the greater need for mental health and addiction assistance due to COVID-19, but the fact that the pandemic has created another barrier to access. As we now sit on the cusp of the first anniversary of the start of the pandemic emergency, it seems like a good time to review the ways that our world has changed, and this week, we’ll start with what’s going on in our heads.
Noah Irvine is on the podcast this week to talk about that, his personal story, and what he’s learned about advocacy in the last four years. He will also talk about life as a U of G student these days, how his undergrad experience will be defined by COVID-19, and what long-term effects there will be on Irvine and his classmates in the Class of ‘23. And finally, Irvine will discuss his future plans, and why there needs to be a non-partisan effort to step up and create immediate and lasting solutions for the mental health crisis.
So let’s talk about fighting for improved access to mental healthcare on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
You can learn about Noah Irvine’s efforts to promote government action on mental health at his website, and you can follow him on social media on Instagram. You can read Irvine’s most recent letter to Members of Parliament by clicking here.
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Photo Courtesy of Noah Irvine