News Column

Investments in Mental Health Key to Our Future

February 13, 2014

OTTAWA, Feb. 13, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) is concerned with the modest focus on meeting the mental health needs of Canadians in the 2014 federal budget.

An additional $15 million investment in Canadian Institutes of Health Research including the creation of a Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging, $44.9 million over five years to include prescription drug abuse as part of the National Anti-Drug Strategy, and $11.4 million over four years to expand vocational training programs for people with autism spectrum disorders are important investments.

While the CPA applauds these measures, it encourages bolder federal leadership to advance the mental health of Canadians, in keeping with the establishment of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the development of a mental health strategy, and the funding of a Housing First approach.

"Mental health matters," said Dr. Michael Teehan, President of the CPA. "Now is the time for the federal government to do its part to bring the mental health strategy to life.  We want to work with the federal government to take concrete actions to improve the mental health of Canadians such as creating a Mental Health Innovation Fund, accelerating the adoption of workplace health standards, introducing national mental health indicators, or other targeted policies, programs and investments."

In this information age, good mental health is more essential than ever to Canadian prosperity.  Caring for people with mental illness is also the hallmark of a compassionate and civil society, and the foundation from which Canadians are productive, fulfilled and engaged citizens.

"The numbers are compelling. We must do more for those suffering from mental illness.  The CPA sees a natural leadership role for the federal government, both in addressing the mental health of the populations for which it is directly responsible, and in fostering collaboration with and among the provinces and territories.  We look forward to advancing this conversation with the federal government", said Dr. Teehan.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada's 4,500 psychiatrists and more than 600 psychiatric residents. Founded in 1951, the CPA is dedicated to promoting an environment that fosters excellence in the provision of clinical care, education and research.

SOURCE Canadian Psychiatric Association

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Source: Canada Newswire

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