The Canadian Mental Health Association congratulates newly elected MPs, urges immediate action on mental health

The 44th parliament has a historic opportunity to deliver mental health reform for Canadians

Toronto CANADA


TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Following a federal election campaign that saw candidates from all parties focus on mental health like never before, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is calling on all incoming MPs to work together to turn promises into policy within the first 100 days.

CMHA wishes to congratulate Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for winning another mandate. We would also like to extend a warm welcome to the 338 Canadians from all parties who were elected to represent their ridings in Ottawa. Many are already championing mental health in their communities, as professionals, advocates and candidates.

“It is our sincere hope that newly elected members of parliament come together within the first 100 days to turn their election commitments into action on mental healthcare for Canadians,” said Margaret Eaton, National CEO of CMHA. “We need our federal representatives to immediately declare mental health as a national priority and get right to work to fix our mental health system once and for all.”

Canadians have waited for generations to improve our mental health system. Though the pandemic laid bare deep and long-standing gaps in the system — lack of timely access, care gaps in remote locations, lack of culturally sensitive programming, and a shortage of mental healthcare professionals — Canadians continue to have to wait long periods of time or pay out of pocket to meet their basic mental health needs. Countless others have fallen through the cracks, unable to access services altogether.

CMHA was pleased to see all major parties acknowledge the deep connections between mental well-being and the social determinants of health during the campaign, including jobs, affordable housing and food, access to education, substance use and addiction, social inclusion and non-discrimination.

This election has made it clearer than ever: we need free mental healthcare and we need it now, in all communities across the country. Canadians deserve nothing less. This will entail a fundamental shift in how we approach mental healthcare.

“Rather than keep building on a system that responds to crisis, we need to rethink our mental health system so that it can promote mental wellness and prevent mental illnesses from taking hold in the first place,” said Eaton. “We need this and so do our kids, our parents, our communities. If the pandemic has taught us something, it is that the mental healthcare system in this country needs an overhaul. Our work starts today: let the 44th parliament be the parliament that transforms mental healthcare in Canada once and for all.”

With 86 locations in every province and one territory, CMHA is proud to have delivered a range of community-based mental health programs, services and supports, for more than a century. We look forward to working with the government and all parliamentarians to ensure Canadians have access to mental health supports and proactive, everyday strategies that promote and protect mental health and well-being.

About the Canadian Mental Health Association

Founded in 1918, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is the most established, most extensive community mental health organization in Canada. Through a presence in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory, CMHA provides advocacy, programs and resources that help to prevent mental health problems and illnesses, support recovery and resilience, and enable all Canadians to flourish and thrive. For more information, please visit www.cmha.ca.

For more information:

Katherine Janson
National Director of Communications
Canadian Mental Health Association
kjanson@cmha.ca
Cell: 647-717-8674