Government of Alberta welcomes Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada

Edmonton, June 11, 2012 – Building on last month’s overwhelmingly successful release of Canada’s first-ever mental health strategy, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) is in Edmonton to launch Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada in Alberta. The Strategy was shaped and informed by the experiences and input from thousands of Canadians, including considerable engagement in Alberta.

“The release of this Strategy marks a historic milestone for our country, the millions of Canadians living with mental health problems and illnesses, their families and all those who are working to ensure that every Canadian can enjoy the best mental health,” says Commission Chair David Goldbloom, MD.The Commission is holding regional events across the country to extend the conversation about how the Strategy can improve mental health and about what can be done to bring the Strategy to life in our communities. Participating in the Alberta launch were His Honour, Colonel (Ret’d) the Honourable Donald S. Ethell Lieutenant Governor of Alberta; the Honourable Fred Horne, Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness; and many community health workers, people with lived experience of a mental health problem or illness, and family caregivers.

“By working together on mental health issues, we are making real and lasting changes in the lives of our families, neighbours and communities,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Alberta Health. “Alberta is pleased to be part of Canada’s national mental health strategy because our partnerships are helping Albertans and all Canadians reach their full potential.”

“The release of Changing Directions, Changing Lives marks the first time that Canada has created a shared vision and set of priorities that will guide the efforts of the public and private sector, the service delivery sector, and all Canadians to improve mental health outcomes,” says MHCC President and CEO, Louise Bradley.

The Strategy sets out recommendations for change that promise to improve the quality of life for Canadians in every province and territory, grouping these changes into six key strategic directions:

• Promote mental health across the lifespan in homes, schools and workplaces, and prevent mental illness and suicide wherever possible;
• Foster recovery and well-being for people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and uphold their rights;
• Provide access to the right combination of services, treatments and supports, when and where people need them;
• Reduce disparities in risk factors and access to mental health services, and strengthen the response to the needs of diverse communities and Northerners;
• Work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to address their mental health needs, acknowledging their distinct circumstances, rights and cultures; and,
• Mobilize leadership, improve knowledge and foster collaboration at all levels.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we spark change.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.

The views represented herein solely represent the views of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Production of this document is made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada.

For further information:
Kyle Marr, Senior Communication Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: (403) 385‐4050
[email protected]


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