Dear Minister Aglukkaq,
The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of mental health organizations comprised of health providers and organizations representing persons with mental illness and their families and caregivers. CAMIMH’s mandate is to ensure that mental health is placed on the national agenda in order to improve the mental health of all Canadians and ensure that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.
CAMIMH was pleased to hear about your recent announcement that the federal government will be funding researchers who will be reviewing the issue of improving access to mental health services for Canadian children and youth. The funding is provided through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
As you know, mental disorders are a leading cause of disability in Canada and represent a significant burden on the economy. It estimated to cost the Canadian economy $51-billion annually with a third of that attributed to productivity losses, hence investment in community supports will lead to significant reduction is these costs. Yet Canadians, in particular those in lower and middle income levels, face significant barriers when it comes to mental health services. It is vitally important that we look to the needs of the community when it comes to mental disorders and health promotion and that we respond to those in ways that are effective.
Dr. John Higenbottam
CAMIMH , Co-Chair