—Ottawa, ON, January 22, 2015—
The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) welcomes the launch of the first phase of the project Informing the Future: Mental Health Indicators for Canada, released today by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). This MHCC initiative will lead to the creation of a long overdue set of national mental health and mental illness indicators.
“Until now there have been no agreed upon mental health indicators to paint a clear picture of the mental health of Canadians and how the system responds to mental illness,” says CPA President Dr. Padraic Carr. “For many years the CPA has advocated for the development of indicators to assess the performance of the mental health system and to provide mental health professionals, planners and government with better information to make informed decisions about how to better meet the mental health needs of Canadians.”
Thirteen of 63 indicators were released today. A report on the balance of the indicators is to be released in April 2015. Taken together, these indicators will not only provide information about mental health and mental illness amongst Canadians as a whole, but also give insight into distinct groups of Canadians such as children, youth, senior, First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, immigrant populations and northern Canadians. The indicators go beyond the healthcare system and also provide information about school settings, workplaces, emergency shelters, foster care and the general community.
The 63 national indicators were drawn from the best data currently available. “This project and these data from the 63 indicators represent an important initial step toward the development of common indicators to measure the mental health of Canadians,” says psychiatrist Dr. Elliot Goldner, lead researcher on the project. “In the future, it will be valuable to extend this work to each of the provinces and territories and to collect and report on new data to fill important gaps.”
“The Canadian Psychiatric Association and all psychiatrists look forward to doing their part to support the mental health indicators project, which we believe is crucial to better accountability and better mental health care for Canadians,” says Dr. Carr.
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.