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Cross-Partisan Parliamentary Committee Applauds Directives in Mental Health Commission’s Report

For Immediate Release
MAY 9, 2012

(Ottawa, ON) – Yesterday, the Mental Health Commission of Canada released a mental health strategy for Canada. The report, “Changing Direction, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada”, marks a significant addition to the dialogue on mental health in Canada in the twenty-first century.

The Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care (PCPCC), a non-partisan committee comprised of over fifty-five Members of all political stripes lauded the work of the MHCC in its efforts to produce the first-ever national mental health strategy. Founded to incite discussion on the state of healthcare in Canada and propose solutions to shortcomings in the medical field, the PCPCC work falls on parallel tracks with that of the MHCC.“Only one in three Canadians experiencing mental health issues seek and receive treatment, and one in five Canadians are affected by mental health problems each year,” explained Co-Chairs Harold Albrecht, MP (Kitchener-Conestoga), Joe Comartin, MP (Windsor-Tecumseh) and Frank Valeriote, MP (Guelph), “we commend the MHCC for its extensive consultations with Canadians on this issue. We hope a concerted effort across the board between governments and organizations will result. These strategies need to move off paper and into our communities.”

The report focuses on six key directives: awareness promotion, recovery for those experiencing mental health issues, access to services, reducing barriers to access in remote communities, streamlining services particularly for First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, and mobilizing various levels of government and organizations in order to succeed in executing the strategy.

Established in 2007, the Mental Health Commission drew on the experience, knowledge and advice of thousands of people across the country in this report’s development. The report can be accessed here:http://strategy.mentalhealthcommission.ca/.

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For more information, please contact:

David Drewe, Assistant to Harold Albrecht, MP at [email protected] or 613-992-4633
Reem Zaia, Assistant to Joe Comartin, MP at [email protected] or 613-947-3445
Jeff Valois, Assistant to Frank Valeriote, MP at [email protected] or 613-996-4758
Jacquie LaRocque, Ensight Canada, at [email protected] or 613-614-6339