Mental Health Strategy for Canada First Year Anniversary
Happy First Anniversary, Mental Health Strategy of Canada!
That’s right. We’re celebrating one year of accomplishments since the launch of Changing Directions, Changing Lives, Canada’s first-ever Mental Health Strategy. To be clear, we’re celebrating with thousands of others who not only helped to create the Strategy, but also helped implement its recommendations.
So, how is the world different one year into the Strategy? Well, for starters, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, together with its many partners and stakeholders, celebrated:
- Launching the world’s first National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace.
- Completing North America’s largest-ever community mental health research project, helping find solutions to end chronic homelessness for thousands of Canadians and providing much-needed evidence to support a $600 million federal government investment in Housing First approaches.
- Participating, alongside the Government of Canada, at the 2012 World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland
- Applauding the Canadian Government's $5.2 million dollar commitment to The Canadian Depression Research Intervention Network, allowing for leading edge innovative research on depression, and the transfer of innovative knowledge in a way that will benefit the patient, with a particular focus on suicide and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD).
- Signing a multi-national declaration with eight countries proposing to share resources to address areas of shared interest.
- Co-hosting the world’s largest anti-stigma conference in Ottawa with more than 700 delegates from 29 countries.
- Launching Canada’s first mental health focused knowledge exchange training workshop to such demand that the MHCC has already replicated it in New Zealand.
- Reaching a milestone number of 80,000 Canadians trained in Mental Health First Aid in every Province and Territory in Canada, with almost 1,000 instructors nationwide.
- Having Canada’s Mental Health Strategy documents in the hands of more than 15,000!
- Making Canada’s Mental Health Strategy available in multiple languages, including Plains Cree, Woods Cree, Ojibway, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.
The year ahead holds many exciting opportunities for MHCC, along with our many partners and stakeholders, to bring to life even more of the recommendations contained in Changing Directions, Changing Lives.
Together we can:
- Bring the Mental Health Strategy to bear on the issues facing Canada’s youth (starting with a youth-friendly version of Changing Directions, Changing Lives).
- Eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness (we’re well on our way to launching the largest collaborative anti-stigma campaign in Canada’s history).
- Make Canada’s workplaces safer. (Alongside Canadian employers, organized labour, government and leading experts in workplace mental health, we’re tracking the uptake and implementation of best practice interventions designed to improve psychological health and safety in the workplace.)
- Provide family caregivers real help with the important work they do every day (Family Caregiver guidelines, designed to improve a caregiver’s capacity to provide the best possible care to a person living with mental illness while maintaining their own well being, are set to be released shortly.)
- Mobilize a national Network of Ambassadors to help drive change and elevate the dialogue on mental health reform.
- Get the message of suicide prevention on the agenda and ensure that the voices of leaders in the field are being heard — making mental health and mental illness part of the dialogue.
- Elevate the fact that recovery is not only possible but happening. (Work with governments and stakeholders to promote and develop recovery-oriented tools and practices.)
- Strengthen mental health and addictions care by Collaborating with the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse on appropriate strategies for the future.
By working together to improve mental health in Canada, just imagine what accomplishments we’ll be celebrating 12 months from now! Thank you for your commitment to mental wellness.
Changing Directions and Changing Lives is everyone’s responsibility, and we encourage governments, service providers, users of the mental health system and their families to draw on the Mental Health Strategy and to help realize its vision for change.