Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The first mental health strategy for Canada

image from The Mental Health Commission of Canada

Monday, the Mental Health Commission of Canada announced the first mental health strategy for Canada.

Formed in 2007 by Canada’s Conservative government, the Commission has a number of studies, including creating a comprehensive plan for preventative mental health care across Canada. I can’t find the actual report, though I am looking forward to reading it when I find it. In the mean time, check out the webcast here. Unfortunately you need to register first.

I have a couple of thoughts even before I dive into the topic.

I know the Conservative Government is changing the funding structure for general health care across the provinces. The Star points out that it links it to 7-9% of health care spending, which equates to $4 billion devoted to mental health care. I welcome the proposed spending, however it sounds like such as large number, especially when governments are trying to pay down their deficits. Even though it’s a study required by the federal government, they don’t need to heed the spending recommendation. When doctor fees are cut to save $338.3 million in Ontario alone, I don’t believe the Canadian and Provincial governments will spend the billions of dollars on mental health care, even if it saves them money in the long run.

Second, the Commission put the report out to newscasters and journalists, but they are making it difficult for the public to read the report. The report should be completely public, especially when mental illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians.

What do you think about the Commission’s strategy?

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3 Replies to “Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The first mental health strategy for Canada”

    1. Yes, I want the strategy to be heard with its recommendations. But I find it hard to believe they will agree to spend the money with all the other cuts presently occurring. I hope the timing is right for this initiative.

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