Good news for mental health in federal budget say psychiatrists

Good news for mental health in federal budget say psychiatrists

— Ottawa, ON, April 22, 2015—

The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) applauds the federal government’s budget announcement to renew the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s mandate for 10 years beyond its original term of 2007-2017. The CPA, along with many mental health organizations, advocated for the establishment of the Commission and, in recent months, have pressed for a second mandate to continue its work.

“The government has listened to our request and this is good news for all Canadians. Much has been accomplished by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and other mental health organizations, yet more remains to be done to improve access to quality mental health care in Canada. The Commission is an important catalyst to that work,” says Dr. Padraic Carr, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association.

“Canada’s psychiatrists look forward to working with Minister Ambrose, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and others to reshape the Commission’s mandate as it enters into what we hope will be a very active phase to foster a pan-Canadian action plan to improve mental health care in Canada,” says Dr. Carr.

Additional measures of benefit to Canadians suffering from mental health problems and illnesses were announced in the budget, including:

  • $42 million over five years for the creation of the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation.
  • As part of the Economic Action Plan 2015, a promise of funding to support health system innovation and research to address specific health issues, particularly mental health.
  • $2 million per year ongoing for mental wellness teams in First Nations communities.
  • A maximum allowable benefit annually of $7,238 to provide respite for caregivers who provide daily support for veterans with serious physical or mental disabilities.
  • An expansion of the Veterans Affairs Canada’s network of Operational Stress Injuries clinics to better serve veterans suffering from mental health conditions.
  • The creation of an interactive online workshop for caregivers of veterans with physical or mental health conditions.
  • The hiring of 100 more Veterans Affairs staff to speed up decisions on disability benefits.

The Canadian Psychiatric Association is the national voice for Canada’s 4,700 psychiatrists and more than 900 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.