Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario would like to congratulate Steve Lurie, Executive Director of the CMHA Toronto Branch, on his appointment as a Member of the Order of Canada.
Lurie is being recognized for his contributions as a leading advocate and administrator in the field of mental health care by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. He is one of six Officers and 39 Members being invested at a ceremony today at Rideau Hall.
For more than 40 years, Steve has been a tireless advocate, fighting to improve the mental health system and being a voice for individuals who are often marginalized because of stigma and discrimination.
While humbled and honoured to receive the Order of Canada, Lurie used the recognition as an opportunity to do what he does best: make the call for further system support for individuals living with a mental illness.
“More For the Mind published by CMHA in 1963 said that in no other field except leprosy has there been as much confusion, misdirection and discrimination as mental health,” Lurie said. “I have spent the last 42 years trying to correct this for all of us who live with mental illness in our families and communities. There is still more work to do to ensure mental health gets its fair share of health care funding so that people don’t have to wait to get help when they need it.”
Lurie’s colleagues, meantime, are not surprised by the recognition.
“This affirms what many of us already knew. That Steve’s passion and commitment to improving mental health services has had a significant impact not only in Toronto and Ontario, but for the benefit of all Canadians,” said Catherine Anastakis, Board Chair for CMHA Toronto.
“Steve’s dedication, passion and drive to be a force of change to help those living with mental health challenges is second to none. His body of work is vast and it’s impossible to quantify the positive impact he’s made in our sector,” said Camille Quenneville, Chief Executive Officer, CMHA Ontario.
The Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest civilian honours and was established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Over the last 49 years, more than 6,500 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order.