The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) acknowledges the significance of the federal government’s recently unveiled 10-year health-care plan.
To continue prioritizing mental health, however, the MHCC urges the government to establish a permanent and distinct Canada Mental Health Transfer to address a parallel pandemic of mental health and substance use health concerns. We must now also close the gap between needs and resources for quality mental health and substance use care.
The $2 billion urgent top up to ease immediate strains to healthcare systems is a welcome investment. The psychological health and safety of healthcare workers must be a national priority.
$1.7 billion over 5 years in wage increases for personal support workers and related professions, further supports the psychological safety of healthcare workers. Many of these workers (PSWs) are often front-line staff working in inpatient and community facilities and deserve to be fairly compensated for their contributions to mental health care delivery.
The MHCC was also pleased to see a focus on the need to collect quality and culturally competent data. Our hope is that data specific to mental health and substance use will be included. We encourage our first ministers to recognize this focus as an opportunity to have distinct mental health data to inform care and save lives throughout the country. Key to this result is meaningful consultation on the collection of this data, rooted in principles of health equity and Indigenous data sovereignty.
Seeing mental health as a distinct shared priority for new bilateral agreements is a strong start. But it is time for all those who live in Canada to have equitable access to quality mental health services.
Beyond addressing the immediate concerns to our health-care systems — it’s time to add mental health as a distinct part of that equation.
President and CEO
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / email@example.com