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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.

April 1, 2003 Mental Illness in Canada: Backgrounder

This backgrounder on mental illness in Canada 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.

April 1, 2003 Mental Health: Backgrounder

This backgrounder on mental health 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.

April 1, 2003 Income Security: Backgrounder

This backgrounder on mental illness in Canada 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.

April 1, 2003 Housing and Homelessness: Backgrounder

This backgrounder on housing and homelessness 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.

March 15, 2003 Social Capital as a Health Determinant

This report is a summary of social capital research commissioned by the Policy Research Division, Strategic Policy Directorate, Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada. The work attempts to clarify the place of social capital among the social determinants of health.

March 15, 2003 Addressing the Social Determinants of Health in Canada: Bridging the Gap Between Research Findings and Public Policy

In spite of an accumulated body of evidence and Canada’s own expertise on the topic, there is currently a policy vacuum on social determinants of health, as the costs and delivery of health care services have come to dominate the public debate. Whereas Canada was a leader in the 1970s and 1980s, it has now fallen behind countries such as the United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. If we continue to ignore these broader policy issues, promoting healthy lifestyles and increasing spending on medical care are unlikely to succeed in maintaining and improving the health of Canadians. Establishing a social determinants of health task force to consider the findings and implement their implications would be a valuable first step in this direction.

March 1, 2003 The Current State of Housing in Canada as a Social Determinant of Health

Despite growing evidence as to their effect upon health outcomes, housing issues have not been high on the agenda of most health researchers in Canada and the federal government and many provincial governments have withdrawn from the provision of social housing over the last decade. To end the current housing crisis and insecurity, governments have to increase their spending on housing by 1 per cent of overall spending and adopt a national housing strategy that recognizes that housing affects the population’s health and other social determinants of health.

February 15, 2003 Mainstreaming Women's Mental Health: Building a Canadian Strategy

This document by the British Colombia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health provides an excellent overview of the issues relevant to women’s mental health, and contains a series of recommendations for developing a national women’s mental health strategy.

February 15, 2003 2003 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada

This report card from 2003 by Campaign 2000 on Child Poverty in Canada measures the progress, or lack of progress, of the unanimous all-party resolution “to seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000”.

February 15, 2003 Adequate and Affordable Housing: A Child Health Issue

In an attempt to address the critical need for adequate and affordable housing in Canada, the Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario  produced an overview of research linking housing conditions to child health status. Along with the research document, advocacy tools and ideas for action can be found to assist in making housing a priority.