Psychiatrists encouraged by federal pledge to fund homeless and mental illness best practice research



    OTTAWA, Feb. 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Psychiatrists join their national mental
health partners in welcoming the federal budget announcement of $110 million
for research into best practices to address the needs of homeless people with
psychiatric conditions.
    "This initial investment is a gesture of confidence in the new Mental
Health Commission of Canada and its capacity to help transform mental health
care where it matters most-on the front line," said Dr. Patrick White,
President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association. "It is especially
encouraging that this first new investment targets the homeless. More than
half the homeless face serious mental illness and addictions challenges. They
are our canaries in the mine for what is wrong with our mental health care
systems".
    "The commitment to a demonstration and evaluative approach that underlies
this first investment is good news," Dr. White explained. "Unlike many past
efforts that failed to test what works before applying a policy prescription
to a complex mental health care issue, this approach recognizes the need to
engage all stakeholders and test potential solutions first. A research-based
approach will help find the best ways to integrate secure housing for those
with psychiatric illness with good mental health, substance abuse treatment
and ongoing care."
    "Our members and our organization continue to be committed to lending our
expertise to the Mental Health Commission and the demonstration projects. We
are also committed to working with our colleagues of all disciplines as well
as consumer and family organizations to implement the Commission's three
priorities which are stigma, knowledge exchange and a national strategy. We
also look forward to further government commitments to mental health which
will implement the recommendations of the Senate Committee report, Out of the
Shadows at Last," Dr. White added.
    In addition to the Mental Health Commission contribution, the CPA notes
additional budget commitments to support initiatives in other areas of
importance to the mental health of Canada's population. These include
additional funding for the veterans program, the New Horizons program which
supports elder abuse prevention activities at the community level, community
crime prevention initiatives. We look forward to the mental health sector's
engagement in their planning.
    The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada's
4,100 psychiatrists and more than 600 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951,
the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in
the provision of clinical care, education and research.




For further information:

For further information: Ms. Hélène Côté, Communications Officer, (613)
234-2815 ext. 232, hcote@cpa-apc.org

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Canadian Psychiatric Association

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