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Canada’s first mental health strategy calls for major improvements to services

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e3350 (Published 14 May 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e3350
  1. Barbara Kermode-Scott
  1. 1Calgary, Alberta

Too many Canadians with mental illness receive inadequate or no treatment, and too many end up homeless or incarcerated, says the Mental Health Commission of Canada. On 8 May the commission, which is funded by the federal health department, Health Canada, released its first national mental health blueprint for action.1

In any given year a fifth of people in Canada experience a mental health problem or illness, with a cost to the economy of more than $C50bn (£30bn; €38bn; $50bn), says the commission.

However, only a third of Canadians who experience a mental health problem or illness, and as few as one in four children or young people, report that they have sought and received services and treatment. Of the 4000 Canadians who die every year as a result of suicide, most had a …

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