Mental Health Commission of Canada praises Alberta government on the release of the Alberta Addiction and Mental Health Strategy

CALGARY, Sept. 12, 2011 /CNW/ - The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) praised the release today by the Honourable Gene Zwozdesky, Minister of Health and Wellness for Alberta, of the comprehensive Alberta Addiction and Mental Health Strategy.

"Today, there's a great window of opportunity to transform the system of mental healthcare right across Canada," said Louise Bradley, MHCC President and CEO. "For the first time, governments and territories are putting mental health at the top of their agendas, and mental health issues are being discussed openly in our schools, offices, and homes. There's also a real eagerness to share knowledge and create caring societies where people living with mental illness have the opportunity to recover and lead fulfilling lives. The Commission commends the Alberta government for embracing this challenge and addressing mental illness and addiction in a comprehensive and meaningful way."

The Commission also applauds the fact that Alberta's strategy addresses both mental health and addiction. There are complex interactions between mental illnesses and addictions and it is very important that this be recognized and a focus of attention.

The strategy's focus on mental health promotion and illness prevention is also commendable. The evidence strongly suggests that such an approach can enhance the overall mental health and well-being of the population, and it can contribute to reducing the personal, social, and economic impact of mental health problems and illnesses.

The MHCC is pleased to have supported the Alberta government in developing the strategy through the involvement of Howard Chodos, PhD, the Commission's Special Advisor, Mental Health Strategy for Canada. Chodos was a participant on the Alberta Deputy Minister's Advisory Committee that was mandated to support the development of the strategy for Alberta.

For more on the Alberta Addiction and Mental Health Strategy, please visit: http://health.alberta.ca.
The MHCC is currently developing the first-ever Mental Health Strategy for Canada and has been working collaboratively with governments and stakeholders to build a common vision for change across the country. The Strategy will be released in 2012. For more, visit: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/Strategy.aspx

About the Mental Health Commission of Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for transformative change. Our mission is to work with stakeholders to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to promote mental health and help people who live with mental health problems lead meaningful and productive lives. The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada. For more, visit www.mentalhealthcommission.ca .

The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.

SOURCE Mental Health Commission of Canada

For further information:

Kyle Marr, Senior Communication Specialist
Office: (403) 385-4050
kmarr@mentalhealthcommission.ca


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