MISSISSSAUGA, ON, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Caregiver Coalition
(CCC) applauds the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) of the
release of the National Guidelines for a Comprehensive Service System
for Family Caregivers of Adults with Mental Health Problems and
Illnesses. This project was spearheaded by the Family Caregivers
Advisory Committee (FCAC) of MHCC. The Guidelines provide much needed
recognition and identified actions to support the needs of family
caregivers of adults living with mental illness in Canada.
The guidelines give voice to many of the major concerns and needs of
Canadian family caregivers and propose an evidence-informed,
comprehensive approach to meeting these needs. "They [the guidelines]
clearly acknowledge the unpredictable nature and challenges of many
mental illnesses and the resultant impact on the health and wellness of
the family caregivers who provide care and support", said Nadine
Henningsen, President of the Canadian Caregiver Coalition. "A critical
step in supporting caregivers is to understand and address their unique
needs as separate from the individual they are caring for."
Family caregivers come from all walks of life - old and young; female
(predominantly) and male (increasingly); and from all financial income
levels. Caregivers bear substantial costs — economic, social, physical
and psychological. They are likely to incur out-of-pocket expenses and
significant lifetime income losses, and they commonly experience
stress, social isolation and guilt. "We are encouraged by the
recommendations contained in the report", stated Jamie Sutherland, CCC
Signatory Partner. "The actions to address a range of challenges faced
by family caregivers including significant emotional, physical,
financial and social burdens are necessary to support the health and
wellbeing of caregivers".
In order to achieve a vision of "a Canada that recognizes and respects the integral role of family
caregivers", all governments have a vital role to play. These guidelines will raise
awareness of the importance of caregiving and ensure effective measures
are in place. To this end, the CCC advocates that the federal,
provincial and territorial governments adopt a caregiver strategy that
encompasses five critical actions that have been identified by family
caregivers and caregiver support organizations across the country:
Safeguard the health and wellbeing of caregivers.
Minimize excessive financial burden placed on family caregivers.
Enable access to user friendly information and education.
Create flexible workplace environments that respect caregiving
Invest in research on family caregiving as a foundation for
evidence-informed decision making.
The guidelines are an excellent tool to support the needs of family
caregivers of adults living with mental illness in Canada. The CCC
will continue to work with stakeholders to advance policy for and
advocate on behalf of all family caregivers in Canada.
About the Canadian Caregiver Coalition
The Canadian Caregiver Coalition is a diverse group of national and
provincial organizations from across Canada that works collaboratively
to represent and promote the needs and interests of family caregivers
with all levels of government, and the community. The vision of the
Canadian Caregiver Coalition is a Canada that recognizes and respects
the integral role of family caregivers in society, and supports this
role with the understanding that it is not a substitute for public
responsibility in health and social care.
SOURCE: Canadian Caregiver Coalition
For further information:
Nadine Henningsen, President, Canadian Caregiver Coalition