FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mental Illness Awareness Week 2019:
CAMIMH Calls For Mental Health Parity in Canada
(TORONTO, ON) October 7, 2019 – During Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), October 6 to 12, the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is calling on all levels of government to strive for mental health parity by advocating for better, more accessible mental health services for all Canadians on par with physical health.
As part of CAMIMH’s advocacy work, the organization selects five Faces of Mental Illness annually – representing the 1 in 5 Canadians affected by mental illness – to showcase the many forms of mental illness. These brave individuals help CAMIMH advocate for updates to Canada’s mental health policies by sharing their stories of living with mental illness.
“CAMIMH is dedicated to ensuring all Canadians have access to mental health services on their road to recovery,” said Florence Budden, Co-Chair of CAMIMH. “We are calling on the government elected on October 21 to fund mental health in parity with physical health.”
This year’s MIAW theme focuses on connectivity and seeks to highlight the importance of connecting with supports in order to achieve and maintain mental wellness. Nature, hobbies, family, friends and mental health service providers are all examples of ways the Faces connected their mental health to overall health.
As messages are shared this year, the goal remains to make mental health parity a reality. In any given year, close to 7 million Canadians will experience a mental illness or substance use issue. Our system of mental health care and related services is underfunded when compared to our health care system for physical health issues: Canada’s provinces and territories spend only 7% of health care budgets on mental health services. With the 2019 federal election campaign sending parliamentarians to their local ridings across the country, CAMIMH has created an interactive map in which political candidates, organizations and individuals from around Canada can submit messages of support for mental health parity and connect digitally.
“We hope that even more Canadians will participate in this year’s MIAW campaign so that we can show decision makers the support we have for mental health parity and the need for concrete action,” said Fardous Hosseiny, Co-Chair of CAMIMH.
Across Canada, hundreds of organizations including schools, workplaces and hospitals are supporting MIAW with their own initiatives. To see what various organizations and individuals are doing, we encourage everyone to follow #MIAW19 throughout the week.
CAMIMH would like to thank its generous sponsors who make this campaign possible: Bell Let’s Talk, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, Lundbeck Canada Inc., Innovative Medicines Canada, Canadian Credit Union Association and Impact Public Affairs.
To learn more about CAMIMH and Mental Illness Awareness Week, please visit www.camimh.ca
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.
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