Margaret Trudeau speaks to a crowd at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel Thursday afternoon.

‘You have to ask for help,’ Margaret Trudeau tells crowd

Mental health advocate and mom of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at Surrey Board of Trade's Women in Business awards in Guildford.

An estimated 500 people gathered at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel to hear guest speaker Margaret Trudeau at the Surrey Board of Trade’s (SBOT) annual Women in Business Awards Thursday afternoon.

The widow of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and mother of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Margaret Trudeau is an author of four books, including a best-seller (Changing My Mind).

At one of the SBOT’s biggest functions of the year, Trudeau spoke about the challenges she faced in dealing with mental illness.

“I was someone with mental illness who was in denial, who did not accept you have to reach out for help and that you can’t help yourself,” she said. “You need a third party, you need to ask for help.”

Trudeau shared stories of her struggles following the death of her youngest son in 1988. Michel Trudeau was swept into a lake by an avalanche in the Kootenays.

“My son’s death, unfortunately, triggered me into the beginning of madness,” she said. “I was locked into a terrible cycle from depression. I threw away everything. I couldn’t process properly the fact my darling boy was dead. I just couldn’t.”

She eventually was admitted to a psychiatric ward and got the professional help she needed.

Today, she is encouraging others to learn more about mental illness and reach out for support.

“I try to make us more aware of mental health,” said Trudeau. “I have to stress this. Depression is not sadness, and it’s not sorrow, and it’s not natural, and it’s not normal.

“We have to have the courage to accept we’re flawed, as others would say, or we’re ill, which is what I would say. And you have to ask for help.”

The SBOT presented five awards to business women at the end of the luncheon. Winners included Noel Asmar of the Noel Asmar Group Inc. (in the Entrepreneur category), Sonia Virk of Virk Viyas and Associate Lawyers (Professional), Louise Tremblay of the Semiahmoo House Soceity (Not-for-Profit Leader), Dona Hurry of the Mansonville Plastics Group of Companies (Corporate/Leadership) and Paola Ardiles of Bridge for Health (Social Trailblazer).

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police seize nearly 50 kilos of drugs in Surrey

Police say this has taken perhaps millions of deadly doses of fentanyl and other drugs off the streets

ICBC had 32,412 Dial-a-Claim calls from Lower Mainland

This was in a 17-day stretch from Jan. 3 to Jan. 19, inclusive

Young child seriously injured in suspected drunk driving crash in Delta

“This needs to stop,” says Insp. Ciaran Feenan, head of the Delta Police Department’s patrol section

Surrey Mounties looking for two suspects in stolen credit card scam

Police said the cards were used in $28,000 in fraudulent transactions in Surrey, Burnaby and Coquitlam

Surrey’s Fruiticana, 25 years in, is growing strong

From a humble start to nurturing an 18-store business, Surrey’s Tony Singh looks to open two more this year

VIDEO: Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

A state of emergency is set to extend into a fifth day

Convicted Fraser Valley con man facing 39 charges in Vancouver area

Donald Quinnell got four years prison in 2015, again facing fraud, theft, stolen credit card charges

Elderly man in serious condition after being hit by bus in Burnaby

RCMP believe man, 82, was not at a crosswalk at the time

ICBC to bring in ranking system for collision, glass repair shops

Change comes after the much-maligned auto insurer has faced criticism for sky-high premiums

Surrey teen recalls ‘scary experience’ of falling down Oregon mountain

Gurbaz Singh broke his leg during a 150-metre fall on Dec. 30

Man accused in Kamloops murder claims woman died during rough sex

A Fraser Valley man stands trial for first-degree murder in connection with the 2016 death of a woman

VIDEO: Children read to therapy dogs at Langley library

For kids who struggle with reading, a dog is the perfect audience

Most Read