MH4A Conference shifts Canada’s mental health discussion upstream

Canadian Mental Health Association says mental illness prevention and mental health promotion will be the vaccines of the next century

MONTRÉAL (QUÉBEC) October 22, 2018 – In its 100th anniversary year, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) today kicks off its third annual three-day Mental Health for All Conference (MH4A 2018) in Montréal, Québec. Themed Ahead by a Century: the Shape of Things to Come, the national gathering brings together Indigenous leaders, health-care providers, front-line workers, researchers, funders, policy makers and people with lived experience of mental illness to tackle the major issues in mental health of our time and showcase successful programs, best practices and innovation.

“The most innovative solutions to the mental health crisis in Canada will not be in treatment, but in prevention,” says Dr. Patrick Smith, national CEO, CMHA. “A healthier approach will not wait for illness to take hold. Yes, one in five Canadians live with mental health problems, mental illness or addictions in a given year, but all of us—all five in five—have mental health that must be nurtured, protected and promoted.”

Co-hosted this year by the CMHA Québec Division, leading a third day devoted to Environments, Society and Mental Health, the event features national and international figures in mental health promotion and mental illness prevention, including federal Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam, Dr. Margaret Barry, Head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at the National University of Ireland Galway, former UK health minister Norman Lamb and Dr. Miguel Sabogal, President of the Colombian Mental Health Association as well as Québec voices such as Karen Hetherington, president of CMHA Québec Division and Montréal Branch.

“The Government of Canada recognizes that mental wellness is an important indicator of good health,” says the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, federal Minister of Health. “We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to put in place programs and initiatives that promote positive mental health, address the negative impacts of trauma and contribute to the prevention of mental illness and suicide.”

The three-day event will feature 76 workshops in eight streams, including:

  • Cannabis as a Treatment for Mental Health, PTSD and Addiction (Day 1, C6)
  • Let’s Be Blunt: Addressing Cannabis Use in Youth (Day 2, G9)
  • Decriminalizing Illegal Drugs in Canada: From Theory to Reality (Day 2, F9)
  • Public Health Interventions for Suicide Prevention (Day 2, G3)
  • Resilience at Work (Day 3, Experiential Workshop)

For complete program details, sponsors and exhibitors, please visit

About the Conference

The Canadian Mental Health Association’s national Mental Health for All (MH4A) Conference plays a unique role in uniting the Canadian mental health sector. Generously supported by Lundbeck Canada and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the MH4A Conference is an important place of convergence, where health care providers, front-line workers, researchers, funders, policy makers and people with lived experience of mental health issues come together to set the agenda. To learn more, please visit

About the Canadian Mental Health Association

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province, CMHA provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. For more information, visit


For more information, to secure a media pass or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Katherine Janson
National Director of Communications
Cell: 647-717-8674


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