Calgary, Alberta | Thursday, October 10, 2013
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) commends the work of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on the release of the Surgeon General’s Mental Health Strategy, Canadian Forces Health Services Group entitled “An Evolution of Excellence.”
The efforts of the CAF to date to educate its members about the importance of mental health and to develop a comprehensive system to address mental health within the military-specific environment, have established the CAF as a recognized leader amongst its peers. The recommendations within the Surgeon General’s Mental Health Strategy will enable the Canadian Forces Health Services Group to evolve an already strong mental health system to better address current and future mental health needs with the CAF.
The seven strategic priority areas outlined in “An Evolution of Excellence,” mirror many of the recommendations within Canada’s first-ever Mental Health Strategy, released just over a year ago by the MHCC.
“Given the stigma still associated with mental health problems and illnesses, mental health is often a silent component of health care,” said Louise Bradley, MHCC President and CEO. “The MHCC is therefore pleased to see the holistic approach taken by the CAF. The emphasis on strong mental and physical health as a pre-condition to the success of military operations in support of Canadian interests underscores the importance of an integrated approach to health care.”
Despite the differences between military and civilian contexts, there is much to be learned from the Canadian Armed Forces approach to comprehensive, population-based approaches to mental health and about providing a comprehensive range of integrated mental health services.
The Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR) is an example of taking a military mental health program and adapting it for civilian purposes. The MHCC and the CAF have collaborated to do just that and the pioneering work of the CAF is already being put to work within non-military settings across Canada.
By working together, stakeholder groups like the Canadian Armed Forces and the MHCC, among others, are transforming every facet of Canadian society—civilian and military—strengthening the fabric that supports healthy workplaces and communities from coast to coast to coast.
ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we create change.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca
Kyle Marr, Senior Communications Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada