Noah Irvine's life has been anything but “normal.” When he was five, his mother died by suicide. When he was 15, his father died by prescription drug overdose. In childhood, he witnessed domestic violence. He has a learning disability. He has CPTSD. He writes about all this not to earn your sympathy. He writes about it because they are simply facts of his life. They are simply situations he has learned to live with. These events shaped the course of his life and made him the person he is today.
"These difficult moments brought Noah into contact with Canada’s mental health and addictions system. He quickly discovered the system was in crisis long before he was born. He learned that while politicians readily acknowledge the crisis, few are willing to take the bold steps needed to provide Canadians with the services they need. So, he took a bold step."
In Grade 11, he launched a national campaign to encourage politicians at all levels – federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal – and across all political parties to work together on the issue. He wrote approximately 1,500 letters to politicians and others who could have an impact on mental health and addictions policy. The biggest obstacle to progress, Noah discovered, is political partisanship. Politicians from all parties agree there is a crisis but the willingness to work together is lacking. Noah’s message to politicians is clear: Put Canadians first. Give them the heath care they deserve. In other words:step up and do better!