Calgary, AB – The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) today released Taking the Guidelines off the Shelf: Mobilization Toolkit, at the Collaborative Mental Health Care Conference in Calgary. The Toolkit is intended to support caregivers and organizations in order to help them understand and implement the recommendations outlined in the National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System to Support Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and Illnesses released in June 2013 by the MHCC.
“The Guidelines provide an evidence-informed, comprehensive approach to better meeting the needs of family caregivers,“ said Ed Mantler, MHCC Vice President of Programs and Priorities, “the mobilization toolkit is for those who want to put the Guidelines into practice.”
Through its 41 recommendations, The Guidelines identify the many types of supports and services that caregivers need at different stages of their loved one’s illness as well as at different stages of their own lives. In support, The Toolkit provides resources and guidance to help people to plan and execute education and advocacy efforts with decision makers who are in a position to enact change. The toolkit was created with the guidance of members of the MHCC’s former Family Caregiver Advisory Committee, and input from select caregivers from across Canada.
“The Toolkit offers practical guidance to anyone interested in translating the Guidelines into concrete help for families,” said Ella Amir, Executive Director of AMI-Québec who added, “it is the best step to ensure that the Guidelines are not remembered as an impressive academic document but rather as a tool that changed the lives of caregivers across the country.” A grassroots organization, AMI-Québec is committed to helping families manage the effects of mental illness through support, education, guidance and advocacy. By promoting understanding, the organization aims to dispel the stigma still surrounding mental illness, thereby helping to create communities that offer new hope for meaningful lives.
- The term family Caregiver refers to all those in the circle of care, including family members and other significant people who provide unpaid support to an individual living with a mental health problem or illness.
- Approximately 560,000 Canadians provide care to a person living with a mental health problem or illness.
- Caregivers experience more health and mental health problems compared to the general population, as well as an increased financial burden.
Additional information on the Caregiver Guidelines and Mobilization Toolkit may be found online here
ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA
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.
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Patti Robson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Mental Health Commission of Canada