Budget Restates Government’s Commitment to Mental Health
(OTTAWA, ON) March 23, 2017 – The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) welcomes yesterday’s federal budget and congratulates the government on its historic federal commitment to mental health investments. Yesterday’s budget provided more details and outlined the fiscal framework for the recently-negotiated health accord with the provinces and territories, including its $5 billion investment in mental health care.
“This budget is good news for the mental health of Canadians,” said Lisa Crawley, CAMIMH Co-Chair. “The health accords that have been negotiated with almost all provinces and territories represent a historic federal investment in mental health, and will act as a downpayment on for what for too long has been the forgotten component of our healthcare system.”
The budget commits $5 billion over the next 10 years to mental health care for Canadians, as part of a renewed health accord. It also commits almost $14 million per year to improve mental health for Canada’s inmates, a long-overlooked population. Finally, the budget commits $17 million over four years and $9 million per year thereafter to establish a Center of Excellence for PTSD and veterans’ mental health.
In September 2016, CAMIMH released their recommendations to the government in a document titled Mental Health NOW!
CAMIMH’s recommendations are based on five pillars:
- Ensure sustainable funding for access to mental health services by increasing the federal share of mental health spending to 25 per cent of the total, which would result in $777.5 million more in additional annual federal direct funding support for mental health services.
- Accelerate the adoption of proven and promising mental health innovations with a five-year $100 million Mental Health Innovation Fund.
- Measure, manage and monitor the mental health system’s performance by establishing pan-Canadian mental health indicators.
- Establish an expert advisory panel on mental health.
- Invest in social infrastructure.
The Mental Health Now! document is available at http://www.camimh.ca/public-affairs/advocacy/
“These investments will make a profound difference in the lives of millions of Canadians, but now the real work begins,” said Chris Summerville, CAMIMH Co-Chair. “It is now contingent upon the federal and provincial/territorial governments, and all stakeholders in our mental health community, to ensure that these investments are made wisely and in an effective as possible manner. Committing the funding is an important first step. Now we must work together to ensure the investment yield dividends for generations to come.”
Established in 1998, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is an alliance of mental health organizations comprised of health care 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 so that persons with a lived experience of mental illness and their families receive appropriate access to care and support.