OTTAWA, June 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is pleased with the recent federal recognition of the need for a more robust disability management system addressing mental health. A key component of the broader announcement Minister Clement highlighted is that the federal government will emphasize prevention and rehabilitation and will include enhanced support for mental illness.
This is an issue that is very important to Canada's mental health providers and their patients. As one of Canada's leading providers of health care, the federal government has a leadership role to play in ensuring workplace mental health in Canada. CAMIMH is optimistic that the increased supports for workplace mental health in the announcement is a step in the right direction.
"As Minister Clement said, the current plan is outdated and hasn't been changed in nearly 40 years," commented John Higenbottam, CAMIMH Co-Chair. "Over that time period huge strides have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of many of the mental illnesses that have an impact on Canadian workers and employers. We are pleased to see the government is recognizing that they must set the example and do a better job addressing mental illness amongst its workforce and within the disability framework."
CAMIMH is pleased that the government has acknowledged with this announcement that mental illness represents more than half of all disability claims among employed Canadians, and as such needs to be addressed in a much more robust manner than it has in the past. CAMIMH trusts that the government is recognizing that federal employees are entitled to sick leave as well as disability leave as prescribed by their physicians or mental health practitioners as it brings forward improvements to the short and long term disability benefits.
"The government's intent to launch a consultation process is most welcome" states Dave Gallson, CAMIMH Co-Chair. "This announcement follows some of the recommendations contained within the mental health strategy launched by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and represents an important acknowledgement of the need to immediately address workplace mental health within government."
As an employer, the federal government can ensure that the extended health plans it offers to its employees provide meaningful coverage for mental health treatments and supports. CAMIMH is encouraged by this announcement, and its members look forward to working with the federal government in its implementation.
Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of mental health organizations comprised of health care providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH's mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.
SOURCE: Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health
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