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Envisioning a Canada where mental health is a human right

Mental health has never been more top-of-mind in Canada. Perhaps because the need has never been so great.

“It has been 18 months of isolation, stress and uncertainty,” says Margaret Eaton, National CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). “That is why, amid all the turmoil and confusion, we have pushed hard and strong for mental health system transformation—because this is the time to fix the system.”

People in Canada demand good mental health and they need access to effective mental health supports and proactive, everyday strategies that promote and protect mental health and well-being. They need them tailored to meet their unique needs due to trauma, racism and discrimination, unemployment and a host of other social and environmental factors. And they need them now.

CMHA employs over 5,000 people working in 86 branches/regions and divisions with 330 community locations nationwide. When we all pull in the same direction, things move.

As outlined in CMHA’s new Nationwide Strategic Plan, launched in September, we envision a Canada where mental health is a universal human right.

What does that Canada look like?

It looks like a new normal in which mental health is valued and our system actually meets people’s needs.

It looks like a place where people not only have the right to timely mental health treatment, but also to the secure jobs, safe places to live and good relationships that make good mental health possible for every person in Canada.

It looks like a place without trauma, racism and discrimination, all of which contribute to poor mental health.

It looks like a place that allows us to feel well wherever we live, work, learn and play.

“Everyone deserves to feel well,” says Eaton. “Please read our new CMHA Nationwide Strategic Plan and envision a mentally healthy future for Canada. Move forward with us. People across the country shouldn’t have to wait for mental health support any longer. Our time is now.”

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