OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - Today in honour of Psychology Month, the
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), the Mood Disorders Society
of Canada (MDSC) and the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
joined forces to highlight the need to enhance access to mental health
services in Canada.
Mental disorders are a leading cause of disability in Canada and
represent a significant burden on the economy. It estimated to cost
the Canadian economy $51-billion annually. Psychologists are the
largest group of regulated and specialized mental health care providers
in Canada. Yet Canadians, in particular those in lower and middle
income levels, face significant barriers when it comes to accessing
psychological services due to their cost.
"The services of psychologists are not funded by provincial health
insurance plans which make them inaccessible to Canadians with modest
incomes or no insurance" said Peter Coleridge, National Chief Executive
Officer, of the CMHA. This is in spite of the fact that some of the
most effective treatments for common mental disorders - depression and
anxiety - are psychological ones like cognitive behaviour therapy".
The U.K. has invested 400 million pounds over four years to make
psychological therapies more accessible, and Australia has also
enhanced access to psychologists through its publicly funded health
insurance plans" adds Coleridge. "Canada must do the same."
"It is vitally important that we look to the needs of the community when
it comes to mental disorders and health promotion and that we respond
to those in ways that are effective" said Dave Gallson, Associate
National Executive Director of MDSC. "Our research has found that the
lack of insured services prevents a majority of individuals with mental
illnesses from seeking the support they need."
Next week the Government of Manitoba is hosting a mental health summit
with a focus on children and youth. Seventy percent of adults living
with a mental disorders experience the causes or onset of their
disorders before age 18. Early intervention can make a dramatic difference in the course of a disorder and, ultimately in a person's
"Psychological services are proven effective in helping Canadians to
manage and overcome psychological problems and disorders," added Dr
Karen Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Psychological
Association. "Canada's private health care insurance plans and publicly
funded programs don't do enough to ensure Canadians have equal and
adequate access to needed psychological service. Canada's governments
and employers must do more to ensure all Canadians - regardless of
income - can access the psychological care they need."
SOURCE CANADIAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION
For further information:
Tyler Stacey-Holmes, Manager, Association Development, Membership and Public Relations
Canadian Psychological Association
613-237-2144, ext. 325 | firstname.lastname@example.org