The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) welcomes the inclusion of important mental health priorities in Budget 2019.
In particular, the MHCC recognizes the tremendous value of investing in the creation of a pan-Canadian suicide prevention service. With funding totaling $25 million over five years, the development of a crisis support service will afford people across the country access to trained responders, in the official language of their choice, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By standardizing services that are currently offered unevenly across the country, more lives will be saved as interventions via phone, text or chat allow people to choose their preferred method of communication.
Suicide prevention as a top priority is also reflected in Budget 2019’s promise to support Inuit communities, who experience a suicide rate between five and 25 times the national average. The MHCC applauds the investment of $50 million over five years to support the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami’s (ITK) National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy. The MHCC was proud to lend our support to the Strategy, which was released in July 2016. Today, we are pleased to see a meaningful investment in its implementation.
Finally, as an organization that has provided Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training among Canada’s northern peoples and Inuit, the MHCC is aware of the lack of mental health and addiction treatment centres in Nunavut. For too long, Inuit and other residents requiring mental health and substance use supports have needed to travel south and seek services far from home. The MHCC is very gratified to see the inclusion of funds to build and operate a treatment facility in Nunavut.
We congratulate the Government of Canada for recognizing the social and economic toll of mental health problems and illnesses – specifically suicide – and for making meaningful investments to improve these outcomes.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada, Media Relations
613.683.3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org