After five years of extensive consultation, the Mental Health Commission of Canada presents a first for the country
Changing Directions, Changing Lives is the first mental health strategy for Canada. Its purpose is to help improve mental health and well-being for all people living in Canada and to create a mental health system that can truly meet the needs of people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses and their families. It was released on May 8, 2012.
The Globe and Mail (André Picard) reports that the strategy: calls for an immediate infusion of $4-billion annually for mental-health care; calls on employers to implement psychological health and safety standards to protect workers; says efforts to divert people with severe mental-health problems out of the justice system and into care need to be accelerated; and embraces a “housing first” philosophy to get homeless people suffering from mental illness off the streets.
But will governments provide the needed resources? And what roles do communities, charitable organizations, and individuals have to play in its implementation?
We speak with Howard Chodos, one of the authors of the strategy.
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Image: President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada Louise Bradley delivers remarks for the Launch of the National Mental Health Strategy For Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 . By Sean Kilpatrick/CP