Exploring the Role of the Federal Government in Mental Health

We should think of healthcare as an investment in Canada’s economy, not a burden

—-The Honourable Hedy Fry

At the Fairmont Château Laurier, in partnership with the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Psychological Association, the Economic Club of Canada hosted a panel to discuss the role of federal government in supporting the mental health of Canadians. Representatives from each major federal political party discussed their perspectives, including the issues in the current system and possible solutions to those problems. They touched upon the topic of mental health on all fronts, from First Nations to Corrections Services, Military, Public Servants, and the education system. They explained that the federal government also has an important role in collaborating and strategizing with the provinces and territories when it comes to the provision of mental health services.

Over the last few years, Canada’s mental health record has dropped from 4th place to 10th place out of all OECD countries. The problem is not lack of investment (the United Kingdom, ranked 1st place, spends less per capita than Canada does) – the issue is the lack of efficiency and proper planning.

This was an engaging and thought-provoking discussion that our current and upcoming (#shewillrun) politicians must contemplate and act on in order to improve the well-being of all Canadians.

List of speakers:

Zul Merali, Ph.D. (Vice President Research, The Royal; President & CEO, uOttawa Institute of Mental Health Research; Founding Scientific Director, Canadian Depression Research & Intervention Network)

The Honourable Hedy Fry, M.P., M.D. (Vancouver Centre; Federal Liberal Critic for Health; Chair, BC Federal Liberal Caucus)

Padraic Carr MD, FRCPC, Dip. ABPN, DFAPA, FCPA (President, Canadian Psychiatric Association)

Murray Rankin,Q.C., M.P. (Official Opposition Critic for Health, Deputy Critic for National Revenue, Member of Parliament)

Kerry Mothersill, Ph.D. (President Canadian Psychological Association)

Cathy McLeod (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and for Western Economic Diversification; Member of Parliament, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo)

Jessica and Danika from Equal Voice uOttawa with The Honourable Hedy Fry (center) and Dr. Zul Merali (left)
Jessica and Danika from Equal Voice uOttawa with The Honourable Hedy Fry (center) and Dr. Zul Merali (left)
Dr Padraic Carr, President of the Canadian Psychiatric Association
Cathy McLeod, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and for Western Economic Diversification and Member of Parliament, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo
Murray Rankin, Official Opposition Critic for Health, Deputy Critic for National Revenue, Member of Parliament for Victoria
The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, M.P., for Vancouver Centre; Federal Liberal Critic for Health; Chair, BC Federal Liberal Caucus

—-Danika Leminski, Official journalist/blogger of Equal Voice uOttawa Chapter

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