The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) marks the culmination of a number of important initiatives each year in its Annual Report. Outlining delivery on recommendations from Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada and work with our partners in the mental health community to challenge our fellow citizens to improve their own mental health and the health of those around them.
Each report notes how the work of the MHCC is made possible through the unwavering commitment of the mental health community and the support and cooperation of our vast network of partners, spanning the breadth of our nation.
This year, the MHCC is introducing its first Impact Report, which focuses on the impact we are bringing to mental health in Canada.
We are honoured to share how our work inspires change, reduces stigma, and offers life-affirming hope.
Among them are some practical ways we deliver on our vision. Together with our partners, we are training schoolchildren in mental health literacy, inspiring young leaders to champion mental wellness, empowering individuals and communities in suicide prevention, and advancing innovative approaches to mental health and substance use health services. Working closely with stakeholders across a wide range of sectors, we are making an impact, opening minds, hearts, and doors.
As we look back over our previous year’s work, we are heartened by the growing awareness and understanding of the importance of mental health, yet we are keenly aware of how much more is yet to be done.
We look forward to continuing our work to realize a future:
- where everyone in Canada can live a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life;
- where people living with mental health problems and illnesses no longer face stigma and discrimination;
- where everyone has access to high-quality, culturally appropriate mental health services;
- where we all equally value our physical, mental, and social well-being.
Work like this changes lives.
In some ways, there has never been a more pivotal time to work in mental health. Two years of COVID uncertainty have had an impact on many, at great cost to their well-being. These are the people at the heart of the work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).
From our collaborations with the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction on a series of polls conducted throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen levels of depression and anxiety increase and remain high. We’ve seen their disproportionate impact on youth, low-income families, people in rural and remote areas, and many other groups. We’ve seen growing gaps in access to timely, quality, culturally appropriate mental health and substance use health care. But with these findings we’ve also seen an opportunity to do better.
If year one of the pandemic was about weathering the storm, year two was about surveying the damage and rebuilding stronger.
As you’ll see in this report, our efforts to do so homed in on real-world impacts — the kind that would contribute to future advancement while bolstering support for the people who needed it now.
The One and the Many brings a new dimension to the work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The challenge of striving for improving mental health outcomes on two different but complimentary planes: the need to push for advances that will one day improve the lives of many without losing sight of the individuals who need support and attention right now.