- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
May 8, 2012 has been dubbed a “historic day for mental health”. What made May 8th historic is that the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) released the first mental health strategy for Canada, entitled Changing Directions, Changing Lives.
While a draft of the strategy was released back in 2009, the final version has been re-worked and informed through consultations with thousands of Canadians, including those who have lived experience with mental health issues and their families. The strategy focuses on improving the mental health and well-being of all Canadians, and puts forward recommendations to create a mental health system that better meets the needs of those individuals experiencing mental health challenges and their families.
Six strategic directions are included within the strategy, each containing several recommendations. Briefly, the six strategic directions are:
The strategy notes that all Canadians can play a role in implementation. In addition to the strategy document, the MHCC has outlined a range of ways that individuals can become engaged, show support, and become part of the movement to improve mental health among all Canadians. For example, there is a new initiative called Partners for Mental Health that is dedicated to transforming how Canadians think about, act towards, and treat mental health.
I encourage everyone to take a look at the strategy and think about the role you can play to help improve the mental health and well-being of all Canadians. Talk about it with your friends, family, and co-workers, and feel free to share your ideas with us!