The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) congratulates the Mental Health Commission of Canada

OTTAWA, May 8, 2012 /CNW/ –

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For Immediate Release

The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) wants to congratulate the Mental Health Commission of Canada for releasing Canada’s first ever mental health strategy. Its release marks a significant milestone and is a culmination of many years of consultations and hard work by people across the country living with mental health problems and illnesses, individuals, families, communities, health providers and researchers, stakeholder organizations and governments.

CAMIMH has been calling for a national action plan on mental illness and mental health for over a decade. CAMIMH, helped develop the initial framework paper for the Senate Committee studying mental health care in Canada. The Senate’s report, Out of the Shadows At Last, incorporated many of the framework’s recommendations, including the development of a national strategy.

Until today, Canada was the only advanced industrial country without a national strategy or plan on mental health. As a result, people in Canada have suffered unnecessary disability and mortality from mental illness, addictions, and poor mental health, and system costs continue to rise. At least one in five Canadians each year will be affected by a mental illness and it is estimated to cost the Canadian economy $51 billion dollars annually.

“Mental illness and mental health have been neglected in Canada for far too long,” says Dr. John Higenbottam CAMIMH, Co-Chair. “The release of the strategy today is only the first step. The second step will be for governments to adequately fund and implement the strategy.”

“With national leadership and provincial partnerships it is possible to implement a coordinated national strategy for mental illness and mental health in Canada. As the fifth largest provider of health care in the country, the federal government also has the opportunity to lead by example by improving its own capacity to develop mental health policy and deliver services in areas for which it has direct responsibility such as First Nations, Inuit and Metis, National Defence, Veterans Affairs and Corrections” added Mr. Dave Gallson CAMIMH, Co-Chair.

CAMIMH strongly encourages Canadians in each region of the country, and at every level of participation and government, to review the document and chart their own plans for acting on the strategy’s recommendations. It will take leadership, sustained commitment, and co-operation of all of Canada’s stakeholders to make change happen.

About: 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.
For further information:

Meagan Hatch
613-237-2144, ext. 332

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