The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) leads the development and dissemination of innovative programs and tools to support the mental health and wellness of Canadians. Through its unique mandate from the Government of Canada, the MHCC supports federal, provincial, and territorial governments as well as organizations in the implementation of sound public policy.
How We Work
Funded by Health Canada, the MHCC convenes stakeholders, develops and influences sound public policy, and seeks to inspire collective action. Examples include the justice system, primary health care, workplace, housing, and others that impact the lives of Canadians living with a mental health problem or illness and their families.
Each of its initiatives and projects is led by experts from across the country who bring a variety of perspectives and experience to the table. Consulting with people who have experience living with a mental health problem or illness and their families is a key aspect in all of the MHCC’s work.
The MHCC provides its recommendations to governments, service providers, community leaders and many others, and works with these partners to implement them.
In 2006, the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science, and Technology completed the first-ever national study of mental health, mental illness, and addiction. The Committee’s concerns were detailed in its report, Out of the Shadows at Last – Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada which recommended the creation of a Mental Health Commission to provide an ongoing national focus for mental health issues.
The federal government created the MHCC the following year and named the chair of the Senate Committee, the Honourable Michael Kirby, as its first chairperson.The MHCC’s first mandate (2007-2017) was to create the country’s first mental health strategy, advance knowledge exchange in mental health, and examine how best to help people who are homeless and living with mental health problems.
All federal parties voted in favour of the creation of the MHCC, and it was endorsed by all provincial and territorial governments (with the exception of Québec).