An interesting report from the Bazeton Centre for Mental Health Law in the U.S. which looks at federal policy-level solutions to the problem of the criminalization of people with mental illness. The report recommends the development of policies to ensure that people with serious mental illnesses are connected with appropriate community agencies as they are released and are enrolled in the federal entitlement programs that are specifically designed to provide the supports they need: federal disability payment programs and health coverage through Medicaid and Medicare.
This backgrounder on justice was created for the CMHA's Citizens for Mental Health forum series to provide an overview of the issue and highlight government and community-based responses.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) was created by the federal government in its budget of March 2007. The goal of the MHCC is to help bring into being an integrated mental health system that places people living with mental illness at its centre. To this end, the Commission encourages cooperation and collaboration among governments, mental health service providers, employers, the scientific and research communities, as well as Canadians living with mental illness, their families and caregivers. In this, the MHCC’s inaugural Annual Report, we are eager to share with Canadians the progress that has been made towards accomplishing our mandate.
Mental health factors, such as one's level of self-esteem or ability to handle stress, are linked to whether or not a young Canadian will display delinquent behaviour or become involved in criminal activity. According to a new study from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), youth aged 12 to 13 who reported hyperactivity and depression were more likely to report high levels of aggressive behaviour, as well as high levels of delinquent acts involving property. In contrast, new analyses show that youth aged 12 to 15 with high levels of self-esteem, good stress management and self-motivation are more likely to report never engaging in aggressive behaviour.