QUEEN’S PARK – Leaders Ledger – This is Mental Health Week. I rise today to pay tribute to a woman of incredible strength. In 2005, Margaret Hajdinjak lost her son Steven to depression-induced suicide.
On Sunday, May 6, I had the great privilege to attend the second annual Out of the Darkness memorial walk for suicide awareness and prevention, an event that Margaret, with the help and support of community sponsors and volunteers, has established.
Margaret Hajdinjak has taken her tragedy and somehow summoned the strength and conviction to move forward with a community initiative that will support others who have suffered the same fate and most certainly, I believe, prevent the deaths of some who find themselves so alone.
Suicide is the leading cause of death among young adults 15 to 24 years of age—a truly incredible statistic. It’s my hope that through the efforts of people like Margaret, her supporters and sponsors and the 300 people who attended the walk on Sunday evening, the stigma attached to mental illness can be lessened. We need people to understand it is okay to talk about suicide and mental illness, so that those affected become aware of the supports that are available, so they realize they are not alone.
I close by thanking all in Thunder Bay who came out to support such an incredible woman and an incredible cause.
Bill Mauro MPP
Thunder Bay Atikokan