Budget 2013 advances Mental Health Strategy for Canada
CALGARY - The Mental Health Commission of Canada welcomes Budget 2013's proposal to provide $119 million per year over five years to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, with a new focus on the Housing First approach.
"This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to the goals and objectives of the Mental Health Strategy for Canada and is a strong recognition of the MHCC's role as a catalyst for change," says MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley. The Mental Health Strategy for Canada, which was released by the Commission in May of 2012, called on governments to ensure that people have access to supports in their community and that they expand the use of approaches such as Housing First.
Through government funding directed to homelessness reduction, the MHCC has been working on a research project determining what works and what does not for people who have been homeless and living with a mental health problem or illness. Early findings from the MHCC's project, known as At Home/Chez Soi, have shown that a Housing First approach can be cost effective and improve lives. The Housing First approach in this case means providing people with housing, along with support services tailored to meet their needs.
The budget also directly addresses the need for a culturally appropriate continuum of mental health services and allocates funds to improve data collection and reporting of mental illness and mental health, both recommended in the Mental Health Strategy.
The Commission will continue to work with the government and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy to transfer knowledge gathered through the At Home/Chez Soi project, to better assist people and communities across Canada.