Governments, seize the day for better mental health

OTTAWA, Dec. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) urges the country's ministers of health to work together to advance mental health care in Canada. 

One in five people face a mental health problem or disorder each year.  We have psychological treatments that work but these treatments, increasingly delivered in the private sector, are not covered by our public health insurance plans.  Says CPA President Dr. David Dozois "Psychological treatments are both cost and clinically effective in helping people recover from a variety of mental health problems and disorders, but for many Canadians these treatments are out of reach because of how health care is funded."

To address this service gap, the CPA commissioned a group of health economists to develop and cost out models to make psychological treatments more accessible to Canadians.  Based on this work, the CPA has recommended to the federal government that they support the delivery of evidence-based, psychological treatment programs.  One such program, developed and overseen by psychologists in the UK, is delivering excellent results.  Sixty percent of people treated have recovered and tens of thousands have gone off disability.

Canada's health ministers meet today to discuss Canada's Health Care Accord.  The CPA is very encouraged that the federal government has heard our recommendations and has proposed targeted investments for mental health.  The CPA encourages our provincial and territorial governments, and all mental health stakeholders, to implement this proposal.  For its part, the CPA and its community of psychologists is ready to assist.  As has been done in the UK, psychologists can take leadership in developing and evaluating the programs, delivering high intensity care when necessary, and assisting in the delivery of low intensity care by other health service providers.

Says CPA's CEO, Dr. Karen Cohen: "It is time to seize the day for better mental health. Mental disorders take a huge toll on the lives of Canadians and come at tremendous cost to the workplace and the economy.  We all stand to gain if we make cost and clinically effective psychological care available to those who need it."

About the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA)
The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. With over 7,000 members and affiliates, CPA is Canada's largest association for psychology. To learn more, visit


SOURCE Canadian Psychological Association

For further information: Press inquiries should be made to: Stephanie Miksik, Communications Coordinator, Phone: 888-472-0657 ext. 337, Cell: 613-462-3997, Email:


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