Three Leading National Mental Health Organizations Call for Targeted Mental Health Funding in the Health Accord
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is very concerned with the disclosure of mental health information, such as suicide attempts and apprehensions under various provincial Mental Health Acts, to law enforcement officials and third parties through police information or background checks. Disclosing otherwise private (medical or treatment seeking) information undermines people’s ability to seek appropriate care.
“Every child and youth living in Canada deserve to grow up in supportive and nurturing environments, and develop the social and emotional skills they need to work with others cooperatively, resolve conflict and cope with challenges they face in life.
“Every child and youth living in Canada should have access to a range of relevant mental health services, treatment and supports as soon as the need for these services arises.”i
Income security is a key determinant of health related to the mental health of communities. Canadian and international studies support the role income security plays in defining the socio-economic status and its relation to health outcomes. Those representing higher social and economic strata are more likely to experience more positive states of (mental) health and well being than those in lower strata. Additionally, evidence indicates that as the gap between rich and poor increases, the health of the population suffers.
Mental illness is a major health issue for society and for government. Discrimination persists in the organization and provision of hospital care and community health care for people with mental illness. The Canadian Mental Health Association is working actively to maintain and to improve a health care system in which the principles of universal access, uniform terms and conditions, comprehensiveness, portability and public administration are upheld.
Mental health professionals require better training to respond to women’s mental health needs. Most training programs presently do not require coverage of gender issues nor do they even attempt to address how women’s experiences are different from men’s. Women’s biological, psychological and social needs are not part of the curriculum in professional schools, and most therapy and research are premised on male experience. Mental health research by women receives only 6.05% of all mental health research funds in Canada and only 0.42% of all health research funds.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is a strong supporter of the need for a strong consumer voice in all aspects of mental illness/mental health policy, planning, and delivery – from participation to decision-making to choice.