OTTAWA – Yesterday, we learned of the passing of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s(MHCC) Board Chair, the Hon. Michael Wilson. An indomitable mental health advocate, Michael led this country’s collective awakening around mental illness long before fundraising drives were commonplace.
Unafraid to share his lived experience, Michael leveraged his credibility as a cabinet minister and ambassador to bring the same gravitas to the mental health advocacy movement. After losing his son Cameron to suicide, Michael redoubled his efforts to bring mental illness into mainstream consciousness. Through his courage and unflinching commitment, he helped shatter the stigma that kept mental health conversations hushed.
A visionary Board Chair at the MHCC, Michael held the organization to the highest standard. His exacting expectations and results-driven focus – honed from years as an exemplary business leader – refined the MHCC’s objectives and propelled us to examine all our work through the lens of how it helps real people, in real communities.
A dear friend and mentor, Michael’s loss will reverberate, not only in the halls of the MHCC’s office, but across the country’s mental health landscape. Michael’s compassion, sincerity and resolve are irreplaceable. It is now up to us to redouble our efforts to finish the work he began so many years ago.
To Michael’s loved ones: On behalf of the entire MHCC family, our Board Directors, Executive Leadership Team and staff, please accept our deepest condolences. We hope you will take a measure of comfort in knowing that Michael has touched the lives of so many. We will follow in his footsteps, knowing that no one could possibly fill his shoes.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada