OTTAWA, May 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA)
congratulates the Mental Health Commission of Canada on developing and
releasing Canada's first-ever mental health strategy.
"The release of the mental health strategy is an historic milestone and
something the CPA has advocated for 15 years," said CPA President Dr. Fiona McGregor. "The release of a strategy will
not in itself bring more beds, train more psychiatrists, or immediately
produce more equitable funding from the health care budget, however it
provides a powerful reference from which to advocate for improvements
in services and supports and to develop Canadian benchmarks in mental
health, making it less likely people with mental illness will be
Mental illness and poor mental health have a profound impact on Canadian
society. It is estimated at least one in five Canadians suffer from a
mental illness in a given year and that mental illness costs the
Canadian economy $51 billion dollars annually.
The CPA first called for a national strategy on mental health and mental
illness at its annual conference in 1997. This call could not have been
heard without joining forces with family and consumer groups and other
mental health professionals and service providers. It was through the
Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), a broad
mental health coalition of which CPA is a founding member, that A Call for Action was released in 2000. This document, which articulated CAMIMH's vision
for mental health care in Canada caught the attention of politicians
including the Senate Committee studying mental health care in
Canada. The Senate's report, Out of the Shadows At Last incorporated many of CAMIMH's recommendations, including the
development of a national strategy.
"The release of the strategy today is a first step," said Dr.
McGregor. "Now governments need to adequately fund the strategy to
ensure it is translated into a system of supports, services and
treatments for Canadians with mental illness and mental health
problems. It is important that mental health receive dedicated
government funding and that funds spent on mental health, mental
disorders and addictions are proportionate to the burden of illness
they represent in Canada."
The CPA looks forward to reviewing the strategy in detail and continuing
to partner with government, mental health providers, Canadians with
lived experience, family groups, employers and the Commission to
improve mental health care in Canada.
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.
SOURCE Canadian Psychiatric Association
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