Statement of Common Principles provides road-map for mental health

Ottawa, ON, August 28, 2017—

The Canadian Psychiatric Association (CPA) is pleased to see the federal, provincial and territorial governments agree on a Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities that was released earlier this week. The CPA views the common statement as a roadmap that will shape the organization, delivery, management and performance of the mental health system.

The CPA appreciates the leadership role that federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott has played in working closely with her provincial and territorial counterparts in developing a 10-year framework focused on improving access to mental health and addictions services.

“Coupled with the $5 billion announced by the federal government in Budget 2017, the common statement sets the stage for governments to work closely with psychiatry and other providers, as well those with lived experience and their families, to improve access to care and health outcomes,” said Dr. Renuka Prasad, CPA President.

While the CPA supports the three community-based priorities identified in the common statement, improved access is needed to mental health services across the inpatient and outpatient spectrum as well as for wider populations, such as adults and seniors.

The CPA is pleased that the common statement includes performance measures and looks forward to contributing to the development of pan-Canadian indicators. The CPA also strongly supports the importance of working with First Nations, Inuit and Métis to improve access to health services and health outcomes of Indigenous Peoples.

With regard to ongoing collaboration, the CPA believes that access to prescription drugs, particularly for those suffering from mental illness and living in the community, is an important and unresolved policy issue.

“There is no health without mental health, and the CPA stands committed to ensure Canadians receive timely access to the mental health diagnoses and treatments they need,” said Dr. Prasad.

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