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Legislation

August 14, 2009 Federal Budget Initiatives: Enhancing the Economic Basis for Mental Health

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.

August 14, 2009 A Proposal to Establish a National Health Human Resources Infrastructure Fund

The implementation of Medicare in the 1960s required a major investment in capacity-building to train health professionals. The Heath Resources Fund Act – introduced by the federal government in 1966 played a key role in enabling a significant expansion in training capacity across the provinces for a range of health practitioners. Over forty years later, with the challenges associated with an aging workforce and a higher volume and complexity of population health needs, the Health Action Lobby (HEAL) believes that bold action is once again required.

April 2, 2009 Poverty Reduction: A Necessary Component of the Federal Government’s Mental Health Strategy for Canadians

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.

January 15, 2009 The Law As It Affects Older Adults

Although older adults make up a growing proportion of Ontario’s population, law and policy-makers may not be aware of the potential effects of their laws and policies on these members of society. This includes laws or policies that directly target older adults, as well as general laws and policies that may affect older persons as part of the general population. The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is creating a tool to help evaluate new or existing laws, policies and practices and understand their impact on older adults.

Read more at the Law Commission of Ontario website.

August 3, 2008 Stigma and Mental Illness: A Framework for Action

Mental illness can affect anybody, regardless of age, gender, culture, ethnicity, or social class. But no matter who they are, people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness are all likely to experience stigma. Public attitudes and beliefs, often based on fear and misunderstanding, stereotype individuals with mental illness, exposing them to prejudice and discrimination. Stigma infects every issue surrounding mental illness, often with worse consequences than the illness itself. In 2001, the World Health Organization declared stigma to be the “single most important barrier to overcome in the community.”

June 3, 2008 Out of the Shadows and Toward Recovery: Are We Getting There?

In June 2008, CMHA responded to the 2006 Out of the Shadows report with a position paper, “Out of the Shadows Redux”. Now that the Commission has released its draft framework for a national strategy, we are returning with a follow-up submission. We begin with a brief summary of CMHA’s previous messages.

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.

February 3, 2006 ‘Out of the Shadows’ Redux

In this paper, CMHA starts the discussion of bridging from Out of the Shadows to a national strategy by proposing components of a more coherent approach that uses the recovery vision in Out of the Shadows as a unifying thread to connect all the pieces, and develops a theoretical framework that distinguishes services and supports throughout the document, highlighting determinants of health and other community-based approaches (such as the role of NGOs) outside the realm of formal government services. We present these key recommendations, along with examples of related gaps in the Out of the Shadows report, and some specific suggestions for action.

February 1, 2006 Framework for Action on Mental Illness and Mental Health

Canada is the only advanced industrial country that does not have a national strategy or plan on mental health. As a result, people in Canada suffer unnecessary disability and mortality from mental illness, addictions, and poor mental health, and system costs continue to rise. One in five people in Canada experience mental illness and are dependent on support from their families, communities, the economy, and a stretched social service system. This paper explains why a national mental health strategy is urgently needed.