A local organization said the savage attack on a Greyhound bus has raised awareness about the issue of mental illness. 

Tuesday a judge ordered Vincent Li undergo a psychiatric assessment. Li is the man charged with second degree murder in the horrific killing of Timothy McLean, 22, on July 31, 2008.

Witnesses on the bus travelling near Portage la Prairie said a man stabbed McLean repeatedly with a hunting knife, and then decapitated him.

In the days that followed, there was widespread speculation the man charged in the case had an undiagnosed case of paranoid schizophrenia.

The Manitoba Schizophrenia Society said that while although the tragic case has people talking about mental illness, it has also reinforced negative perceptions and stigmas - particularly among immigrant populations.

"We know immigrants to Canada have a much harder time to address mental health challenges," said Chris Summerville. "We need a lot of education to help immigrants and other people in our culture to understand that mental health is like any health issue. It's something that you need to take care of and that there are ways to treat mental health problems"

Summerville told CTV News that even if people with mental illness overcome the stigma try and get help, help can be difficult to find.

Waiting lists to see a psychiatrist in Manitoba can be as long as six months to a year, he said.

Vincent Weiguang Li, 40, appeared before a judge Tuesday in Portage la Prairie but was silent for virtually all of the hour-long proceeding.

After the Crown finished, the judge gave Li an opportunity to speak. He said just three words.

"Please kill me," he said quietly.