Health representatives from the Atlantic provinces gathered in Halifax this week for the first Atlantic Mental Health Summit. They have been discussing ways the provinces can work together and raise the profile of mental health issues at all levels of government. During the summit they have also heard from national and international experts. Health Minister Maureen MacDonald offered to lead the summit at the Atlantic health minister’s meeting in January. “The great thing about a summit like this is we gather from all walks of life, social workers, practitioners and experts to share ideas and best practices,” said Ms. MacDonald during her opening remarks. “The knowledge that is shared here will help us make the right decisions for our province’s mental health strategy, as we work to provide better care, sooner.” Delegates are participating in sessions and workshops to discuss mental health and homelessness, child and youth mental health, mental health promotion and prevention, public policy and a national strategy. One in three Canadians experience mental illness in their lifetimes, and many more are directly or indirectly affected through their relationships with friends, family and co-workers. The province announced the 12 members of the Mental Health Strategy Advisory Committee in September to help fulfill a commitment to revamp mental health and addiction services. The summit ends today, Oct. 29.