From Mental Health Commission of Canada
Changing Directions, Changing Lives
The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for improving the mental health system and changing the attitudes and behaviours of Canadians around mental health issues. Through its unique mandate from Health Canada, the MHCC brings together leaders and organizations from across the country to accelerate these changes.
Each of its initiatives and projects is led by experts from across the country who bring a variety of perspectives and experience to the table. The MHCC’s staff, Board and Advisory Committee members all share the same goal – creating a better system for all Canadians. The MHCC is funded by Health Canada and has a 10-year mandate (2007-2017).
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada is the first of its kind and is a culmination of the hard work and advocacy of thousands of people all across the country. The Strategy offers recommendations to improve mental health and well-being throughout Canada.
How you can make a difference today in the lives of the one in five Canadians who live with mental health problems and illnesses.
1. Promote mental health across the lifespan in
homes, schools, and workplaces, and prevent
mental illness and suicide wherever possible.
Reducing the impact of mental health problems
and illnesses and improving the mental health
of the population require promotion and prevention efforts in everyday settings where the
potential impact is greatest.
2. Foster recovery and well-being for people of
all ages living with mental health problems
and illnesses, and uphold their rights. The
key to recovery is helping people to find the
right combination of services, treatments and
supports and eliminating discrimination by
removing barriers to full participation in work,
education and community life.
3. Provide access to the right combination of
services, treatments and supports, when and
where people need them. A full range of services, treatments and supports includes primary
health care, community-based and specialized
mental health services, peer support, and supported housing, education and employment.
4. Reduce disparities in risk factors and access
to mental health services, and strengthen
the response to the needs of diverse communities and Northerners. Mental health
should be taken into account when acting to
improve overall living conditions and addressing the specific needs of groups such as
new Canadians and people in northern and
5. Work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis to
address their mental health needs, acknowledging their distinct circumstances, rights
and cultures. By calling for access to a full
continuum of culturally safe mental health services, the Mental Health Strategy for Canada can
contribute to truth, reconciliation, and healing
from intergenerational trauma.
6. Mobilize leadership, improve knowledge, and
foster collaboration at all levels. Change will
not be possible without a whole-of-government
approach to mental health policy, without fostering the leadership roles of people living with
mental health problems and illnesses, and their
families, and without building strong infrastructure to support data collection, research, and
human resource development.