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Mental Health Commission of Canada Policy Documents

Changing Directions, Changing Lives
This is the first national mental health strategy for Canada. This Strategy is about promoting mental health and well-being for everyone, preventing mental health problems and illnesses wherever possible, and creating, together, a mental health system that can truly meet the needs of people of all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and their families.

Toward Recovery and Well-Being: A Framework for a Mental Health Strategy for Canada
This document represents the culmination of an intensive consultation process by the Mental Commission of Canada aimed at improving the mental health of all Canadians. It presents an inclusive strategy whose aim is to support those with mental health challenges to be fully incorporated into, and valued as important participants of, Canadian society. Some of the areas addressed are family involvement; easy access to care; evidence-based interventions; and, cultural diversity.

Improving mental health services for immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized groups: Issues and options for service improvement
The purpose of this document is to provide policy makers with important mental health information relevant to Canada’s immigrant, refugee, ethno-cultural and racialized population (IRER). Its recommendations are a direct outgrowth of the seven goals of the strategic document produced by the Mental Health Commission. The suggestion is made that a mainstream service response is necessary if all provided services will be capable of providing equitable and appropriate care to this population. To achieve this goal, a three-pronged action plan is proposed.
Also see: Dr. Kwame McKenzie’s slide show presentation on Diversity Issues Options.

Anti-stigma Program – Opening Minds
Mental Health Commission of Canada
This interim report is the result of a systematic review of anti-stigma programs in Canada. The report outlines current knowledge on programs targeting different groups including youth. It summarizes activities to date, comments on lessons learned, and identifies future work and challenges. The overall goal of the program is to examine best practices and to create resources available on a national and international scale to communities who wish to undertake anti-stigma programs.

Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada  (Part  1), (Part 2)
This 482-page report of the Senate of Canada chaired by Senator Michael Kirby, presents a comprehensive overview of the difficulties faced by Canadians of all ages and in all walks of life, living with mental health challenges. Individuals from across Canada, who were experiencing mental health and substance use difficulties, provided testimony which focused on such issues  as employment, housing, access to services, impact upon families, and, stigma and discrimination – to mention only a few. Legal issues such as privacy and Mental Health Acts are also discussed. Importantly, this is the report which called for the establishment of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The role and responsibilities of the Federal government are to be found in Part 2 of the report.

Guidelines for Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Senior Adults in Canada
The non-clinical guidelines addressed in this document focus on the particular mental health needs of Canadian seniors and was developed in consultation with, among others, the  Seniors’ Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada. The document which has three main areas and contains ten recommendations is aimed at policy makers,  service planners, and advocacy organizations.