Mental Health Commission of Canada Launches Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada in New Brunswick

SAINT JOHN, NB, June 29, 2012 /CNW/ - Building on last month's successful release of Canada's first-ever mental health strategy, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) was invited by Mental Health Recovery Services to one of its centres in Saint John to launch Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada in the province. Mental Health Recovery Services is a community-based program of Mental Health and Addiction Services for Horizon Health Network. It provides support to individuals living with long term mental illnesses.

The Commission is holding regional events across the country to extend the conversation about how the Strategy can improve mental health and about what can be done to bring the Strategy to life in our communities.

"The Strategy was shaped and informed by the experiences and input from thousands of Canadians, including considerable engagement in New Brunswick," says MHCC President and CEO, Louise Bradley. "The release of this Strategy marks a historic milestone for our country, the millions of Canadians living with mental health problems and illnesses, their families and, all those who are working to ensure that every Canadian can enjoy the best mental health."

"As the minister responsible for mental health in our province, I welcome this national strategy," said Health Minister Madeleine Dubé.  "In New Brunswick, we have been working diligently on the initiatives set out in the Action Plan for Mental Health in New Brunswick 2011-2018 which we announced last May. I look forward to working with the Mental Health Commission of Canada and its partners on joint national initiatives that will contribute to good mental health for New Brunswickers and all Canadians."

The release of Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada marks the first time that Canada has created a shared vision and set of priorities that will guide the efforts of the public and private sector, the service delivery sector and all Canadians to improve mental health outcomes.

The Strategy sets out recommendations for change that promise to improve the quality of life for Canadians in every province and territory, grouping these changes into six key strategic directions:

  1. Promote mental health across the lifespan in homes, schools and workplaces, and prevent mental illness and suicide wherever possible;
  2. Foster recovery and well-being for people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and uphold their rights;
  3. Provide access to the right combination of services, treatments and supports, when and where people need them;
  4. Reduce disparities in risk factors and access to mental health services, and strengthen the response to the needs of diverse communities and Northerners;
  5. Work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to address their mental health needs, acknowledging their distinct circumstances, rights and cultures; and,
  6. Mobilize leadership, improve knowledge and foster collaboration at all levels.

"A key component of our provincial Wellness Strategy is to improve the mental fitness and resilience of New Brunswickers through schools, communities, workplaces and homes," said Trevor Holder, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Healthy Living. "Positive mental health means feeling well, being able to function well and being resilient in the face of life's challenges. Improving mental fitness and resilience helps to dramatically improve our quality of life and is integral to improving our overall health and well-being."

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we spark change.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.

Recovery Centre programs ensure that clients have the opportunity for safe affordable housing, continued education, work skills development and opportunities for employment and successful community integration. In addition, meals and a community kitchen program are supported as well as social and recreational opportunities with a focus on wellness through music, art, yoga, tai chi, walking clubs, coping skills groups, smoking cessation and Primary Care Services.

The PEER 126 program focuses on the engagement of young adults (16-29 years of age) with anxiety, depression or a serious mental illness through peer support.

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
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: (403) 385‐4050
Cell: (587) 226-8782


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