Recovery in mental health refers to living a satisfying, hopeful, and contributing life, even when mental health problems and mental illnesses cause ongoing limitations.
Changing Directions, Changing Lives, released in May 2012, is the first mental health strategy for Canada. It aims to help improve the mental health and well-being of all people living in Canada, and to create a mental health system that can truly meet the needs of people living with mental health problems and illnesses and their families.
A blueprint for change
Mental health concerns us all. Mother, father, neighbour, friend – one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness every year, with a cost of well over $50 billion to our economy. And many people either don’t seek or can’t get the services and supports they need to recover a meaningful life.
The Strategy draws on the experience, knowledge and wisdom of thousands of people across the country, and provides an opportunity for everyone’s efforts – large and small – to help bring about change.
Transforming Canada’s mental health system
A first phase of work was completed in 2009 with the release of Toward Recovery and Well-Being: A Framework for a Mental Health Strategy for Canada, which put forward a vision and broad goals for transforming the mental health system.
The Strategy translates this vision into 26 priorities and 109 recommendations for action, grouped under the following 6 Strategic Directions:
Find out more about how the Mental Health Strategy for Canada is Changing Directions, Changing Lives.
The Mental Health Strategy for Canada identifies recovery as central to improving health outcomes and quality of life for people living with mental health problems or mental illnesses. Stakeholders from across Canada identified the need for a national recovery database that would facilitate better knowledge sharing and help accelerate the adoption of recovery-oriented practices. To meet this need, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has developed the Canadian Recovery Inventory (the Inventory). It will make available a broad range of recovery-oriented policies, programs, practices, and research, as well as personal accounts. It will allow users to search by keyword, resource type, topic, geographic location, and language to find resources relevant to their needs and interests.
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) created Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy for Canada to draw on the experience, knowledge and wisdom of thousands of people across the country and provide an opportunity for everyone’s efforts – large and small – to help bring about change. We are using this foundational document to map a course of action. Click on the links below for more information.