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Human Rights

February 3, 2012 Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by Mental Health Service Providers

The Canadian Mental Health Association recognizes that sexual exploitation and abuse by mental health service providers takes place. The Association also recognizes that without fail such exploitation and abuse are harmful to mental health consumers. Evidence has come from anecdotal reports, complaints to professional associations, and more recently from surveys of the general public and professional groups.

January 1, 2009 Out of the Shadows Forever: Annual Report 2008-2009

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.

May 3, 2006 Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada

Over the past year, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has received more than two thousand submissions from all across Canada on the subject of mental health, mental illness and addiction. Hundreds of Canadians shared heartbreaking stories that revealed to the Committee the true state of Canada’s mental health, mental illness and addiction “system.” The members of the Committee have come to recognize the reality that profound change is essential if persons living with mental illness are to receive the help they need and to which they are entitled. We trust that readers of this report will reach the same conclusion.

May 1, 2006 Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada (Part II)

Over the past year, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology has received more than two thousand submissions from all across Canada on the subject of mental health, mental illness and addiction. Hundreds of Canadians shared heartbreaking stories that revealed to the Committee the true state of Canada’s mental health, mental illness and addiction “system.” The members of the Committee have come to recognize the reality that profound change is essential if persons living with mental illness are to receive the help they need and to which they are entitled. We trust that readers of this report will reach the same conclusion.

January 1, 2005 WHO Resource Book on Mental Health, Human Rights and Legislation

There are many ways to improve the lives of people with mental disorders. One important way is through policies, plans and programmes that lead to better services. To implement such policies and plans, one needs good legislation–that is, laws that place the policies and plans in the context of internationally accepted human rights standards and good practices. This Resource Book aims to assist countries in drafting, adopting and implementing such legislation. It does not prescribe a particular legislative model for countries, but rather highlights the key issues and principles to be incorporated into legislation.

November 3, 2004 Balancing Individual Rights and Public Interest

In this 2004 submission to the House of Commons Committee on Justice, Human Rights, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Canadian Mental Health Association outlines specific technical recommendations surrounding Bill C-10 to ensure that the legislation will provide for appropriate safeguards to ensure that the balance between public interest and individual rights is achieved.

December 15, 1996 Informed Consent to Treatment

The Canadian Mental Health Association believes that people who may need mental health care deserve the full range of informed choices surrounding the best possible care. This includes the choice to reject treatment. Self-help options and informal personal supports may complement or supplant the full range of formal psychosocial and medical treatments, in accordance with the wishes of the individual. It cannot be assumed that medical treatment is the only or best option for individuals.

December 15, 1996 Cross Cultural Mental Health

Canada has a long tradition of opening its doors to people from all over the world. Since the second world war, significant demographic changes have occurred in this country. Since the 1970’s, the Canadian immigrant population has shifted from mainly European immigration to people from Asia and Africa. The immigrants and refugees arriving in Canada face many barriers to an easy adjustment to Canadian society. The challenge of learning a new language and socio-economic and legal issues make the task of starting a new life in Canada a daunting one. As our population becomes more diverse, the services we provide have to be relevant and accessible to all the people in our community. In addition, as the population changes, the ways in which we provide services must also change. For instance, in order to provide good mental health services, the services need to become culturally sensitive and appropriate.

November 15, 1995 Mental Health and Unemployment

Since work is an essential part of participation in society, the loss of paid employment can have serious psychosocial, as well as economic, effects. In setting forth this policy statement, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) recognizes that access to meaningful paid employment is a basic human right. In a fair and equitable nation, social justice demands government standards which promote full employment and programs which assist those who are unemployed.

November 15, 1995 Mental Health and Violence Against Women and Children

Violence is not somebody else’s problem, it is everyone’s. Violence permeates Canadian society, in the home, in the workplace, in sport, in schools, in religious institutions, and in the media. Each of us must take responsibility for the values, beliefs and institutions in our society that permit violence to happen. Individually and collectively, we must begin to eradicate violence in our society through public education and awareness, through a shift in power relationships, and through law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Power differential is a major factor in violence, and there are many groups and individuals who suffer from an imbalance of power. Women and children are two particularly vulnerable groups in society and therefore the primary victims of violence.