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Backgrounder: A Framework for Support

April 30, 2003

This backgrounder on CMHA’s Framework for Support model was created for the Citizens for Mental Health forum series to provide an overview of the issue and highlight government and community-based responses.

Scope of the Issue

People with mental illness are often marginalized and alienated from the natural community. Although effective treatment and services are an essential and critical resource, many people report that what helps them as much as formal mental health services is the informal support they get from peers or family, or being able to contribute to society by engaging in meaningful daily activity. With the major commitment in the mental health system devoted to formal service responses, the Framework for Support model is an attempt to broaden this approach and build on the many potential resources existing in our communities.

About Citizens for Mental Health

As a national initiative of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Citizens for Mental Health was a 22-month project funded through Health Canada as part of the Sectoral Involvement in Departmental Policy Development (SIDPD), Voluntary Sector Initiative. The purpose of the project was to strengthen the capacity of voluntary sector stakeholders for meaningful participation in national level policy initiatives by engaging them in the process of developing a national mental health policy framework. Although the project officially wrapped up in Spring of 2004, we hope that the momentum and energy it helped to generate will spur on further voluntary sector action related to federal level mental health policy initiatives.

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