Michael Wilson on Success and Mental Health

Michael Wilson on Success and Mental Health
Posted on 11/01/2017
Michael Wilson

Written by Maya Hind, Student Journalist

On October 10th, World Mental Health Day, the Honourable Michael Wilson visited students at Jean Vanier Catholic High School in Collingwood to discuss politics, his success, the lessons he has learned, and the importance of caring for our mental health.

Michael Wilson is a Canadian diplomat, politician, and business leader. Originally working as a Bay Street investment executive, in 1979 Wilson was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament. He then worked in various government positions including; Minister for International Trade, Minister of Finance, and Canadian Ambassador to the United States. Wilson currently acts as the chancellor of the University of Toronto and chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Students were eager to ask Wilson about the recent North American Free Trade Agreement re-negotiations, as he had previously participated in the original negotiations in 1993 while acting as Minister of International Trade.

As a highly accomplished Canadian, Michael Wilson also offered the students his advice for success:
- Have integrity; do what you say you are going to do, and do it well.
- Volunteer; strong communities are made up of strong volunteers, volunteering is not only great for networking, it also gives you a sense of fulfillment.
- Read; it will help broaden your life.
- Collaborate; it is in working together that we succeed.
- Learn about learning; never stop learning, even after you finish your formal education.
- Accept change; the world is changing and competition is increasing, see it as a chance to explore and broaden your experience.
- Look after your health; both physical and mental.

Wilson is a great advocate for mental health; having lost his son to depression and suicide in 1995, he often volunteers and speaks for mental health groups. An issue not addressed often enough; Mental illness will indirectly affect all Canadians at some point in their lives, with 1 in 5 Canadians personally experiencing a mental health problem or illness. This is why, now more than ever, we need more people like Michael Wilson, to help students both understand and manage their mental health.