More threads by HA


Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health - Long awaited Senate Report Points to National Leadership Void in Mental Illness and Mental Health

OTTAWA, Nov. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness
and Mental Health (CAMIMH) welcomed the long awaited Senate Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee report on the state of mental illness and health services in Canada, tabled in the Senate of Canada today.

The three-volume report provides the first comprehensive review of the
state of mental illness and mental health policies and programs in Canada in over 40 years, along with an international comparison of mental health services and policy approaches. The report includes an "issues and options" report that will serve as the basis for the Committee's cross country consultations over the next year.

While primarily focusing on the challenges facing the provision of mental illness services in Canada, the report also sheds light on impact of current policy and programs shortcomings. It puts a human face on how these shortcomings affect millions of Canadians on a daily basis. "This report underscores the stark reality that too many Canadians face each day when trying to obtain mental health care services in Canada," said Phil Upshall, CAMIMH's National Director and who has experienced these challenges first hand.

The report points to a lack of national leadership in the area of mental health and illness and how this void keeps mental health and illness on the lowest tier of health care policy in Canada, producing inequities in availability of services across this country. It points out that the shortages in health human resources, while problematic across the whole health spectrum, are particularly acute in mental illness. "This report serves to reinforce the urgency of CAMIMH's call for a National Action Plan that will set a much needed framework for mental health care and prevention services available to all Canadians," added Dr. John Service, CAMIMH's Chair and a health professional. "CAMIMH's 15 member coalition was formed six years ago in order to draw attention to how Canada lags behind many other western countries that are making mental health a national priority. Other nations have recognized that it takes national leadership to confront the fact that five out the 10 leading causes of disability are now due to mental illness," added Mr. Upshall.

Over the next year the Committee will consult with governments, stakeholders, consumers and the general public on the issues and options it raises in its report. Mr. Upshall's coalition is urging all levels of government and citizens to answer the questions posed by the Committee on its web site and to present their ideas for change at any of the meetings that will take place across the country. "We think Senator Kirby and his Committee have set up a process that will provide the federal government with concrete recommendations on improving the care and support for people suffering from mental illness and mental health problems. We hope this report will not only be the pivot for real change in services and policies for those suffering with mental illness or addiction, but also serve to turn the tide of the stigma of mental illness, which can be just as disabling," concluded Mr. Upshall.

The 15 member organizations of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (CAMIMH) represent all elements of the mental health continuum. Its members are: Autism Society of Canada, Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists, Canadian Association of Social Workers, Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Psychiatric Association, Canadian Psychiatric Research Foundation, Canadian Psychological Association, Mood Disorders Society of Canada, National Network for Mental Health, Native Mental Health Association of Canada, Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada, Schizophrenia Society of Canada.

For further information: John Service, CAMIMH Chair, (613) 355-7808;
Phil Upshall, CAMIMH National Director, (519) 835-1058

Article Source

CAMIMH Website


Mental health system ill, report says

Mental health system ill, report says

By Diana Pereira
Globe and Mail Update

POSTED AT 5:16 PM EST Tuesday, Nov 23, 2004

Canada's mental health system is in disarray, an interim report released Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Social Affairs says.

The report is part of the first phase of an investigation into Canada's mental health system. It offers no recommendations yet, but compiles a summary of mental health services and discusses why they are failing.

“The major underlying reason the system is in such a bad state is because there is a stigma attached to mental illness,” Senator Michael Kirby, chairman of the committee, told

“The governments have turned their backs on it.”

Mental illness is not even included in the Health Act, Mr. Kirby said.

“There is a growing sense that something must be done,” Mr. Kirby said.

Phil Upshall, the executive director of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, agrees that there is just not enough being done in the mental health area.

“The committee says we cannot stand where we are,” Mr. Upshall told

“The Supreme Court says “tough bananas” to people with autism, for example,” he added. “People with mental health issues never had an adequate voice.”

The second phase of the study will focus on solutions and propose strategies.

The committee plans on consulting with Canadians before releasing its final report. Public hearings start in February 2005 and will include input people from across the country. Hearings will end in June and the next phase of the report will be released in the fall of 2005. Mr. Kirby is hoping the findings will be a catalyst for change.

Article Source
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.