July 30, 2013 — The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) applauds the work of the Canadian Medical Association, and the many Canadians they consulted, towards the creation of their recently released town hall report. The resultant 12 recommendations related to income, housing, nutrition and food security, and early childhood development are far-reaching but attainable—particularly if governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and communities take the recommendations to heart and pull together to create transformative, lasting, and much-needed change.
Given the stigma still associated with mental health problems and illnesses, mental health is often a silent component of health care. The MHCC is therefore pleased to see the holistic approach taken by the CMA. By considering mental health alongside other key social determinants, this report arms Canadians, our governments, and health care providers with the tools necessary to develop system-wide responses to the factors impeding our good health and wellbeing.
For its part, the MHCC will continue its work related to ensuring The Mental Health Strategy for Canada is implemented. As well, the MHCC will continue to address homelessness through Housing First (see CMA Recommendation #4) ensuring it continues to receive the attention and support it requires. The message related to Housing First is becoming clear: evidence-based research through the MHCC’s At Home/Chez Soi project demonstrates that for every $10 spent on participants, $7 was saved through the reduced use of other shelter, health and justice services. For high service users, $22 was saved for every $10 spent through the reduced use of local services. The socio-economic benefits speak for themselves.
By working together, stakeholder groups like the Canadian Medical Association and the MHCC—among others—are transforming every facet of Canadian society, strengthening the fabric that supports healthy 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.
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Kyle Marr, Senior Communication Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada