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Canadian Collaborative Mental Health Initiative

A two-year (2004-2006) national initiative funded by Health Canada’s Primary Health Care Transition Fund, the goal of CCMHI was to strengthen relationships and improve collaboration among primary health care professionals, mental health care providers, consumers, families and community organizations.

CCMHI reviewed the current state of collaborative mental health care and identified strategies for improved collaboration. The initiative developed toolkits and resources to advise on how to achieve more integrated care. Additional materials have been developed that describe how to work more effectively in collaborative mental health care with special populations.

A key goal for the project was to develop a charter, committing 12 partner organizations to working together. The Canadian Mental Health Association is one of the founding charter members.

A set of principles and commitments that make up the charter were affirmed to guide collaborative mental health care in Canada. The charter principles are:

  • All Canadian residents have the right to live in a society that promotes health and provides for the prevention and early detection of mental health problems.
  • All Canadian residents have the right to health services that promote a healthy mind, body and spirit.
  • All Canadian residents have the right to collaborative, effective and timely mental health services. Consumers, along with their social supports, have the right and responsibility to be full partners in their recovery.
  • All Canadian residents have the right to receive mental health services and supports in a manner that respects their diverse needs.
  • All Canadian residents have the right to be informed about the range of mental health services and supports that can meet their needs.
  • Mental health services must be supported by policy and provided with adequate financial and human resources.

This initiative concluded in 2006, but its products can be downloaded from the project website, including the following:

  • the charter, outlining the principles and commitments of its member organizations
  • series of papers on collaborative care
  • a set of toolkits to help three audiences – health care providers and planners; consumers, families and caregivers; and educators – make collaborative care work.

Related Resources

For more information on CCMHI and its products, see In Principle and in PracticeNetwork, Winter 2006.