Canada Government Invests in Mental Health and Emergency Centers

Emergency centers are experiencing increasing demand due to the impact of COVID-19 on mental health.

TORONTO, April 25, 2022 /CNW/ – Emergency centers are lifesavers in our communities, and the demand for mental health care has soared since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett, Minister for Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister for Health, today announced an investment of $3,775,000; $2 million will go to the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and $1,775,000 will go to 13 emergency centers across Canada. These emergency centers operate across the country, including in rural and remote areas, and provide essential mental health support and resources to those in need, including 24-hour crisis support, professional peer support and referrals to other resources.

The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) will support the creation of resources to help emergency centers across the country meet the diverse needs of key populations, including:

• the oldest;
• young people;
• the parents;
• members of the LGBTQ2+ community;
• First Nations, Inuit and Métis;
• first responders;
• Health professionals;
• members of racially and linguistically diverse communities;
• People with Disabilities.

This funding is part of a $50 million investment, first announced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, to support emergency centers across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

All members of the Canadian population, including those living in rural or remote areas, especially those who experience health inequalities, should have access to health and mental health resources and services that are considered essential. As we partner with provinces and territories to expand virtual services, we ensure Canadians have access to emergency aid when they need it.

The federal government is committed to supporting Canadians and their mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. If you or a loved one is having issues, you can access the Wellness Together Canada portal, call 1-866-585-0445 or text WELLNESS to 741741 (Adults) or 686868 (Youth).

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted the lives of Canadians and for many of them it is their mental and physical health, their interpersonal relationships, their jobs and other aspects of their lives that have been affected. The emergency centers we invest in today provide essential assistance across the country, connecting people with the right resources and support that will deliver significant benefits and help those in crisis. We want you all to know that if you need help, you’re not alone, help is available. †

The Honorable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health

“Everyone should have access to adequate support in times of crisis. We thank the Government of Canada for funding this important initiative, which will help equip emergency centers and crisis lines across Canada to better serve people of diverse backgrounds and communities. This will help us improve access to the crisis support people need and when they need it most, both during the pandemic and beyond. CAMH is proud to partner with Crisis Services Canada and the Canadian Mental Health Association — National on this critical project. †

Tracey MacArthur
President and CEO of CAMH

Quick Facts

– One third of Canadians will experience a mental illness during their lifetime.

– Suicide affects people of all ages and backgrounds in Canada. On average, 12 people die by suicide every day in Canada. For every person who dies by suicide, many others have suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.

– Emergency centers provide essential mental health services and resources to those who need them, including 24-hour crisis support, professional counselors, peer support, and referrals to other resources. More information about the projects announced today can be found here.

– This funding announcement is part of a mental health investment as part of the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, which raised $93 million in total funding to support related mental health initiatives.

– The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to work with the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and other partners to implement and maintain a comprehensive pan-Canadian suicide prevention service. This service does not replace existing crisis lines and crisis services. Instead, it will partner with emergency centers across Canada to improve access to services. This partnership also ensures the selection and organization of resources to help emergency centers across Canada meet the diverse needs of key populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

– The Wellness Together Canada portal provides free access to educational content, self-guided therapy, moderated peer support, and one-on-one consultations with expert health professionals to support mental health and substance use.

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