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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.

January 1, 2002 Supporting Seniors' Mental Health Through Home Care: A Policy Guide

The implications of a growing population of seniors and a growing home care sector are significant for health care policy generally, but also for mental health policy specifically. In the research conducted for this guide, key stakeholders across Canada were emphatic regarding the need for a holistic model of care – incorporating both medical and psychosocial supports – to meet the needs of seniors today and in the future. The research also demonstrated that there is considerable potential for home care to play a greater role in implementing such a model, and in doing so, support the mental health and well-being of seniors in Canada.

March 15, 2001 Finding the Key to Successful Transition from Jail to Community

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.

February 15, 2001 Measuring Social Capital

A brief explanation of the concept of social capital and its impact on health and well-being, from the Community Life Organization, an Australian community-based suicide prevention organization.

October 1, 2000 Home Care and People with Psychiatric Disabilities

Recognizing the potential for publicly-funded home care to have a key role in meeting the needs of people with a serious mental illness, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) undertook a study to explore issues related to home care for adults with serious mental illness and to make recommendations for practice and policy.

March 15, 2000 An Annotated Bibliography on Indicators for the Determinants of Health

A bibliography by Health Canada that describes 26 publications about indicators for measuring the conditions that determine the health of a population.

January 15, 2000 Collaboration and Social Inclusion in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

This paper by the Nova Scotia/PEI Reference Group focuses on the importance of social inclusion in both the policy process and the need for policies themselves in order to assure health and well being.

February 15, 1999 Supporting Consumer Involvement

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) affirms the broad mandate encompassed by our mission, to promote the mental health of all people. CMHA is strengthened by the skills and experience, as well as by the uniqueness and individuality of all our volunteers; we celebrate differences. For a vibrant CMHA, our boards, committees, staff, and membership need to include diverse opinions, representing all four corners of the Framework for Support‘s Community Resource Base and supported not just philosophically, but with practical measures as well.

January 1, 1999 Women in Public Policy Initiative

This site contains a number of documents that can assist community-based groups to be involved in public policy initiatives from their inception by providing a set of guidelines and steps to ensure that the public policy process becomes more public and transparent.

December 15, 1997 It's Time for Action

This brief article from the Canadian Medical Association Journal discusses inequalities in health status between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.

February 15, 1997 A Focus on Women

This document by the World Health Organization was created to stimulate discussion and action around women’s mental health. Contains sections examining the importance of developing policies which protect and promote women’s mental health.