The Mental Health Strategy for Canada

As of May 2012, the organization known as Changing Directions, Changing Lives released the first comprehensive mental health strategy for the entire country of Canada. The goal of this outlined strategy is to improve overall mental health and well-being of all Canadian residents.

The Mental Health Strategy for Canada - Medicine Shoppe Crowfoot - Pharmacists Crowfoot

A specifically defined strategy is also the first step towards a larger mental health system in our country that’s capable of truly meeting the needs of people, and their families, living with mental health problems or illnesses on a daily basis.

Sowing Seeds of Change 

While most of us don’t realize it, mental health deficiencies in our country affect us all. According to the Canadian Mental Health Commission, one in every five Canadians will experience mental health issues or a more serious illness related to mental health every year.

From an economic perspective, treatments and care for those suffering mental health problems are costing our country more than $50 billion annually. This astounding number doesn’t even include those suffering from mental health issues that never seek the services or support they need to recover.

Bringing together the extensive experience, knowledge, and wisdom of thousands of professionals across our nation that are committed to more effectively treating mental health disorders has ultimately led to a well-defined Mental Health Strategy for Canada.

Adapting our Approach to Treating Mental Health 

By defining a clear-cut strategy for promoting positive mental health in Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Commission hopes to provide greater opportunities for efforts dedicated to mental health that will ultimately bring about positive change.

While the release of a vision and broad goals for transforming Canada’s mental health system was initially presented in 2009 in the form of Toward Recovery and Well-Being: A Framework for a Mental Health Strategy of Canada, the subsequent development of this strategy has successfully translated the original vision set forth into 26 distinct priorities and 109 specific recommendations for action.

These priorities and recommendations were easily categorized underneath the following six strategic directions:

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

At Medicine Shoppe Crowfoot, we recognize the importance of maintaining positive health throughout our community and we realize that The Mental Health Strategy for Canada will ultimately help us do just that!

If you or someone you know suffers from a serious mental health condition, please don’t hesitate to visit your local Medicine Shoppe Crowfoot pharmacist to get more info on treatment and resources available today!

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