Skip to primary content
Skip to main menu
Skip to section menu (if applicable)

What We Do

As a nationwide, voluntary organization, the Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing mental illness. The CMHA accomplishes this mission through advocacy, education, research and service.


Public Policy and Advocacy

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.


Mental Health Promotion

Key components of mental health generally include the capacity to: enjoy life, use abilities and achieve goals, contribute to community, deal with life’s inevitable challenges and bounce back from adversity, and form and sustain relationships with others. Mental health promotion refers to the actions taken to strengthen mental health.


Branch Programs and Services

CMHA branches across Canada provide a wide range of innovative services and supports to people who are experiencing mental illness and their families. These services are tailored to the needs and resources of the communities where they are based. One of the core goals of these services is to help people with mental illness develop the personal tools to lead meaningful and productive lives.

Services are designed to help people:

  • improve their mental health
  • integrate into the community
  • become more resilient
  • be supported in their recovery from mental illness.

CMHA’s programs assist with employment, housing, early intervention for youth, peer support, recreation services for people with mental illness, stress reduction workshops and public education campaigns for the community.

In addition, CMHA acts as a social advocate to encourage public action and commitment to strengthening community mental health services and legislation and policies affecting services. All our mental health projects are based on principles of empowerment, peer and family support, participation in decision-making, citizenship, and inclusion in community life.