In a newly released policy paper, the Canadian Mental Health Association is calling on Ottawa to create new legislation to address unmet mental health needs and bring mental health care spending into balance with physical health care.
Mental Health in the Balance: Ending the Health Care Disparity in Canada, suggests that 85 per cent of Canadians surveyed say mental health services are among the most underfunded services in our health-care system. And the majority of respondents agree that the Government of Canada should fund mental health at the same level as physical health.
CMHA notes that worldwide, mental illness accounts for about 23 per cent of the total disease burden, yet Canada dedicates only 7.2 per cent of its health-care budget to mental health. And, the need for mental health services and supports is growing. By 2020, depression will be the leading cause of disease in Canada.
For more information, read Mental Health in the Balance: Ending the Health Care Disparity in Canada
Meanwhile, CMHA’s policy paper carries a similar message as a recent campaign by CMHA Ontario. More than 12,500 Ontarians raised their voices during the recent provincial election campaign to let political candidates know that it’s time to #erasethedifference and fund mental health and addictions care the same as physical health care.
The new PC government has committed $1.9 billion for mental health and addictions care over 10 years. This matches the federal government’s commitment over the same period, bringing the total investment to $3.8 billion.