On behalf of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Louise Bradley, President and CEO made the following statement:
“The Mental Health Commission of Canada applauds the Government of Canada for its new investments to address the critical underfunding of Canada’s mental health system.
It is not news that Canada’s underfunded services haven’t been able to meet rising demand. Indeed, there are vast gaps in health services for Indigenous communities, veterans and within correctional services.
It is very encouraging that for the first time in decades the federal government is prioritizing investments in Canada’s mental health system in concert with provinces and territories. As noted in Strengthening the Case for Investing in Canada’s Mental Health System, wise spending on evidence-based practices will pay dividends.
We are particularly pleased to see the government make much-needed investments in Indigenous communities, and are heartened by the proposal to support the services of traditional healers to address mental health needs. This is a small but important step towards redressing decades of racism and inequality.
We are also encouraged by Budget 2017’s investments in housing and look forward to seeing a Housing First approach applied to this important social determinant of health.
Further, the Budget’s focus on the mental wellness of veterans is a welcome development and we anticipate these new resources will help fulfill an important need.
Additionally, the mental health of inmates has long been an overlooked area and we strongly support the investments being made to increase mental health care capacity in correctional settings.
These fresh dollars have the potential to move Canada forward from its record of relatively small investments in mental health as compared with other developed countries. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Canada has been at the back of the pack for too long.
It’s important to note that budgeting funds is only half the battle – actually spending this money where it is needed will require collaboration, innovation and a willingness to challenge the status quo.
The time for action is now.
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
Hélène Côté, Senior Communications Advisor, Marketing and Communications
Mental Health Commission of Canada