June 16, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, ON – The fourth annual Father’s Day on the Hill event was a national conversation on men’s mental health, with a panel of men working in the mental health field sharing their viewpoints on gaps in the system.
Father’s Day on the Hill was founded by Matt Jeneroux, the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Riverbend, to bring together Members of Parliament from all parties, key mental health stakeholders and policy makers to discuss mental health with a focus on men and fathers.
“We’ve seen our event grow steadily since its first iteration. We’ve moved to a virtual event over the past two years, which allows us to make this a national event rather than focused solely on Ottawa,” said Jeneroux.
This non-partisan initiative was started in 2018 by Jeneroux in partnership with Movember and the Mental Health Commission of Canada. In past years, the event has featured prominent Canadian men including Peter Mansbridge, Bryan Baeumler and Georges Laraque.
In today’s event, Jeneroux shared reflections along with Liberal MP Majid Jowhari and NDP MP Gord Johns, discussing what can be done at a policy level to improve men’s mental health in Canada.
Other participants were Brandon Hay from the Black Daddies Club to discuss fathering when Black, Eric Arthell, an Inclusion Leader at Deloitte who discussed parental leave for dads, Dominic Paul from the MooseHide campaign to discuss Indigenous parenthood and Mohammad Alam from the Roots & Wings Program, who discussed rethinking parenting in poverty.
“It was wonderful to get so many different perspectives about fatherhood and how mental health is impacted by this experience, but never really discussed,” said Jeneroux.
Jeneroux has also launched the #HiDad campaign to encourage people to check in on their father or other prominent men in their lives and let them know how important they are.
A website has been set up to provide more information about men’s mental health.
“Mental health impacts everyone, but men often suffer in silence. We want to work to stamp out the stigma and talk openly about the struggles we often face,” said Jeneroux.