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Public Policy

The Canadian Mental Health Association is the only association in Canada that addresses all aspects of mental health and mental illness. We promote and advocate through strong connections we forge with policymakers, mental health consumers and their families, educators, the media, stakeholders and other service providers.
CMHA’s National office influences public policy at the federal level with a multi-faceted approach that includes strengthening our relationship with government officials and politicians. In addition, we focus on the ongoing submission of briefs and presentations to Standing Committees on Finance, Health, Human Resources Development, Justice and others.
CMHA Policy Statements articulate the general principles and recommendations relating to a particular issue which are endorsed by the CMHA.

November 10, 2016 Open Letter - Health Accord

Three Leading National Mental Health Organizations Call for Targeted Mental Health Funding in the Health Accord

November 10, 2016 Open Letter - Health Accord
October 28, 2016 Mental Health For All Conference a great success
April 17, 2015 National Public Policy Positions
April 17, 2015 Right to Privacy Related to Mental Health Information Contained within Police Records

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.

November 17, 2014 Child and Youth – Access to Mental Health Promotion and Mental Health 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

February 3, 2012 Income Security and Productivity

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.

February 3, 2012 Mental Health Services

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.

February 3, 2012 Health Research and Training Affecting Women

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.

February 3, 2012 Consumer Involvement

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.