National Alliance Applauds Commitments for Research to Assist Homeless Living with Mental Illness

Canada’s national alliance on mental illness and mental health today welcomed the federal government’s budget commitment to provide $110 million to the Mental Health Commission of Canada for research to better help persons who are homeless and those living with mental illness. The Alliance also lauded the Commission’s plans to launch demonstration research projects in five centres across the country based on the new funding.

“This is an important step towards ensuring that persons who are homeless and have mental illness have access to decent, secure housing,” said Constance McKnight, Chair of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH). “We are pleased that the federal government is continuing to support action on mental illness and mental health by providing the Commission with the resources to carry out this critical research.”

Nearly 6 million Canadians are likely to experience a diagnosable mental illness over their lifetimes; 3% of Canadians are likely to have to live with a serious mental illness. A significant percentage of persons who are homeless in Canada are affected by mental illness, facing severe discrimination and hardship every day.

“Our alliance strongly supports the mandate of the Mental Health Commission to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and develop a national strategy for mental illness and mental health,” said Ms. McKnight. “We will work with the Commission in every way possible to help ensure the success of the research demonstration projects.”

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) is the national voice for action on mental illness and mental health. Its nineteen member organizations represent all elements of the mental health continuum. Consumers and their families, researchers, and all manner of practitioners including physicians, psychologists and psychiatric nurses, are supporters of the Alliance and its work. Created in October 1998, CAMIMH’s core purpose is to put mental illness and mental health on the national health and social policy agendas.

For more information, please contact:
Diana Devlin, Communications Co-ordinator
(613) 232 8218

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