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Why Can't Canada Spend More on Mental Health?

by Steve Lurie

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that mental illness accounts for 13% of the world’s disease burden, yet most countries under invest despite the social and economic costs of mental illness. It has been suggested that this lack of investment may be a result of stigma. A number of high income countries invest 10% or more in their mental health services. Although Canada is a high income country, its mental health spending is 7.2% according to the WHO Mental Health Atlas. This article will review the factors influencing Canada and its provinces’ under investment in mental health, compare its performance with other countries and make the case on why and how this could change.

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