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HomeMedia Centre › June 16, 2015 – MHCC President renews call for increased spending on Mental Health

June 16, 2015 – MHCC President renews call for increased spending on Mental Health

Brian Schmidt, FCCHL, Canadian College of Health Leaders; Louise Bradley, CHE, Mental Health Commission of Canada; Pamela Winsor, CHE, Medtronic of Canada Ltd.; Ray Racette, MHA, CHE, Canadian College of Health Leaders

Charlottetown, PEI – In a speech to the 2015 National Health Leadership Conference, Louise Bradley, President and C.E.O. of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) renewed the call, contained in Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, on Canada to “increase the amount spent on mental health from 7% to 9% of health spending over 10 years.”

Citing the impact of mental health on the Canadian economy, Ms. Bradley told the conference that, “mental illness costs Canada’s economy $50 billion a year due to absenteeism, lower productivity, disability claims and medical services expenses;” adding that, “by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability on the planet, trailing only ischemic heart disease.”

Ms. Bradley went on to remind the participants that:

  • 70% of adults who suffer from mental illness experienced the first signs before the age of 18;
  • An estimated 4000 Canadians die by suicide each year;
  • By the time people reach 40, one in two Canadians will have had, or have, a mental illness;
  • One Canadian in five experiences a mental health problem or illness in any given year;
  • Every week, 500,000 Canadians miss work due to mental health problems or illnesses;
  • 30% of all work-related disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental illness; and,
  • Short and long-term disability claims for mental health problems cost organizations twice the amount they pay out for non-mental health related claims.

“The way I see it, we can pay now – or we will pay later with compound interest;” concluded Ms. Bradley, “we can, and must, do better; going from 7% to 9% is not an insurmountable challenge if we’re truly committed to innovation and improvement.”

Presented by HealthCareCAN and the Canadian College of Health Leaders, the National Health Leadership Conference hosts more than 700 healthcare leaders from across the country.  Keynotes and presentations will focus on driving a culture, of engagement, innovation and improvement in Canada’s healthcare system. The Great Canadian Healthcare Debate is a unique forum giving health leaders the chance to pass resolutions aimed at helping policy-makers address the key healthcare challenges Canada now faces.  The conference runs June 15-16 in Charlottetown, PEI.


Guided by Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health – at home, work, and school, as well as with the media and healthcare providers – from coast to coast to coast. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the Commission is Canada’s coordinating agent, bringing together the best and most influential minds in the mental health community. The MHCC is collaborating with hundreds of partners towards a mental health system that is inclusive, adaptable, and supports Canadians living with mental health problems and mental illnesses in their recovery journey. Together we accelerate change needed to transform Canada’s mental health system and the wellbeing of all.
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca | strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca

Media Contact:
Patti Robson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: 613.683.3742
Mobile: 613.282.1573


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The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change, an organization designed to recommend improvements to the mental health system on a national level. We are not directly involved in individual cases of advocacy, outreach, service delivery or local supports.