Dear Mr. Mulcair,
On behalf of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH), I would like to extend sincere congratulations on being elected Leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Leader of the Official Opposition.
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.
We have been encouraged by your party’s efforts to advance mental health policy, including support for the Mental Health Commission of Canada, its pan-Canadian mental health strategy and stigma awareness initiative. We were also encouraged by New Democrats recent election promise to commit funding to implement a national Mental Health Strategy that would include suicide prevention. But we want to take this opportunity to remind you that more is needed to help the one in five Canadians who will suffer from a mental illness in their lifetime.
Mental disorders are a leading cause of disability in Canada and represent a significant burden on the economy. It estimated mental illness costs the Canadian economy an estimated $51 billion annually, with a third of that attributed to lost productivity. CAMIMH is willing to provide any assistance you may require to help improve mental health services in Canada. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the association and its activities. You may also visit our web site at www.camimh.ca
We wish you all the best in your role as Leader of the NDP.
Dr. John Higenbottam
CAMIMH , Co-Chair