Health advocacy work helped to heal Ajax MP Mark Holland during mental health crisis


Published August 8, 2023 at 2:34 pm

Newly appointed Health Minister Mark Holland says advocating for health research and preventive medicine gave him a sense of purpose during the darkest time in his life.

Holland was in politics for most of his career, except for a four-year break after he lost his seat in 2011.

He spoke candidly last fall about the mental-health struggle he endured at that time, revealing during a committee appearance that he had tried to take his own life.

He started working for Heart & Stroke after his election loss and he says that his work for the foundation in health promotion gave him a much-needed sense of professional purpose after politics.

He says he developed a passion for the power of preventive medicine, which helped him improve his mental well-being before his successful return to federal politics in 2015.

The return of Parliament will bring the new health minister an exceptionally busy fall, as he’s expected to complete negotiations on new health-funding accords, launch a massive federal dental-care program and introduce legislation to define the government’s approach to pharmacare.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 8, 2023.

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