Mind Your Mental Health
National awareness campaign launches today in honour of Psychology Month
(Ottawa, Ontario) February 3, 2014. Today, in honour of Psychology Month, the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and representatives from the provincial and territorial associations of psychology joined forces to highlight the need to enhance access to mental health services across Canada through the launch of the national Mind Your Mental Health Campaign.
The campaign aims to help increase awareness among the public about psychological topics and disorders and how to prevent, manage and treat them. The campaign also encourages psychologists, the public, and other stakeholders, to write their provincial and territorial governments to let them know that Canadians need better access to treatments provided by psychologists, in the public health care system.
“Despite the fact that one in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem in a given year, only one-third of those will receive the help they need,” said CPA President Dr. Wolfgang Linden. “We have psychological treatments that work, and experts trained to deliver them. Yet the services of psychologists are not funded by provincial health insurance plans, which make them inaccessible to most Canadians. Waitlists are excessively long, and insurance to cover these services is minimal.”
“Canada has fallen behind other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, and Finland who have launched mental health initiatives which include covering the services of psychologists through public health systems. These initiatives are proving both cost and clinically effective,” added Dr. Linden.
Together we are urging politicians to increasing access to psychologists by implementing the following recommendations:
- Adapt the United Kingdom’s publicly funded model for Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in the provinces and territories. Under this program psychologists and low intensity therapists deliver care for people with the most common mental health problems: depression and anxiety.
- Integrate psychologists on primary care teams so that mental health problems are addressed at the right time, in the right place, by the right provider.
- Include psychologists on specialist care teams in secondary and tertiary care facilities for health and mental health conditions.
- Expand the public service private insurance coverage and promote employer support for psychological services. Canadian employers could expect to recover $6 to $7 billion annually with attention to prevention, early identification and treatment of mental health problems among their workforces.
Participate in the campaign by visiting www.MYMH.ca by submitting the sample letter to your local parliamentarian. You can also watch the action of the campaign all month long by visiting www.twitter.com/@MYMH_CAN and https://www.facebook.com/mindyourmentalhealth
The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. With almost 7,000 members and affiliates, CPA is Canada's largest association for psychology. There are approximately 18,000 psychologists in Canada, making us the country's largest group of regulated, specialized mental health care providers in the country. Since 2005, the goal of Psychology Month is to generate grassroots activities that will raise Canadians’ awareness of the role psychology plays in their lives and in their communities. Psychology Month encourages all members of the psychology profession to connect with their communities and show them the value and benefits of their work. Psychologists are encouraged to organize local public education and outreach activities.
Tyler Stacey-Holmes, Canadian Psychological Association