The Community Social Data Strategy is an exciting project through which municipalities and community-based organizations can access and analyze detailed research findings from Statistics Canada cost effectively. It is an initiative of the Canadian Council on Social Development in partnership with Statistics Canada.
In this 2009 submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, the Canadian Mental Health Association advocates that income support and other measures to prevent and reduce poverty can play several roles with regard to mental illness and mental health. We have attempted to mainstream our advocacy to cover three areas of importance to the planning and configuring of the upcoming federal budget. These areas cover modifications to the National Child Benefit Supplement, Canada Social Transfer, and development of Basic Income Support Programs for persons living with mental illness and other disabilities. We believe that our recommendations are realistic and realizable, and that they have the potential to promote mental health and wellness, and optimize psychological, social, civic, and economic functioning.
People living with mental illness are severely affected by social and economic inequality. Through no fault of their own they face extended and often lifetime unemployment, social exclusion, isolation, relationship distress, poor physical health and lack of hope for the future. In Canada, persons who suffer from mental illness constitute a disproportionate percentage of persons living below the poverty line, thus exacerbating problems associated with mental illness and contributing to stressors which cause poor mental health.
Although lower socio-economic status (SES) has been linked consistently with higher rates of mental illness, it has not always been associated with higher rates of mental health service use. In this Analysis in Brief the relationship between SES, as measured by neighbourhood income, and inpatient hospital mental health service use for depression was examined in persons age 15 to 64 in 13 cities across Canada. The results suggest an inverse relationship such that individuals from lower-SES neighbourhoods were more likely to be hospitalized for depression than those in higher-SES neighbourhoods. However, no relationship was observed between SES and hospital length of stay or hospital readmission rates, suggesting that differences in SES were not linked with differences in severity of illness or persistence of treatment.
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.
Canadians are among the world’s healthiest populations, but not all Canadians are equally healthy. Gaps (or differences) in health are particularly observable in urban Canada, where links between health and socio-economic status (SES) can be analyzed at small geographical levels. This report addresses multiple material and social dimensions of SES by using an index that incorporates education, income, employment, single-parent families, persons living alone and the proportion of persons separated, divorced or widowed.
Welfare Incomes 2005 estimates total welfare incomes for four types of households in each province and territory, for a total of 52 scenarios. The four household types we use are a single employable person, a single person with a disability, a lone-parent with a 2-year-old child, and a two-parent family with two children aged 10 and 15. The National Council of Welfare has published similar estimates since 1986.
In its pre-budget consultations for the fall of 2005, the Standing Committee of Finance indicated an interest in receiving input on how improvements to Canada’s productivity performance contributes to the economic growth of the nation. In this submission, the Canadian Mental Health Association challenged the committee to look outside of the traditional business/economic model of small, medium and large businesses to consider whether Canada is making the most out of the potential of all its citizens.
Just as early childhood experiences can have an important impact on health throughout a person’s life, teens’ experiences are also linked to health status many years later. Improving the Health of Young Canadians explores links between adolescents’ social environments (families, schools, peers and communities) and their health. Our focus is on the health of Canadian youth aged 12 to 19 years.
In recent years, there has been a great deal of change in the way developed countries perceive issues of poverty and exclusion. New data have allowed a better understanding of the dynamics of poverty, its persistence over the course of life, and the identification of groups at risk. The Policy Research Initiative of the Government of Canada is collaborating with other federal departments in a systematic exploration of the potential implications for policy-making of these newer ways of perceiving poverty and exclusion. This presentation outlines suggestions for new approaches for addressing poverty and exclusion.