In the 2017 federal budget, the government of Canada has dedicated $5 billion towards mental health initiatives over the next 10 years.
Scientific research has made great strides to improve our understanding of mental illness and its prevalence. Today, we know that an overwhelming number of Canadians will be affected—directly or indirectly—by mental illness at some point in their lives. Science has also shown that it is essential for those struggling with mental illness to have access to timely and appropriate mental health services. Yet, in certain regions, wait times to see a mental health specialist are up to 18 months. This is not good enough. If not prevented, or effectively treated early, mental health issues can have lasting health implications.
That’s why Budget 2017 proposes to invest $6 billion over 10 years for home care, and $5 billion over 10 years to support mental health initiatives. These targeted investments have the potential to make a real difference in the lives of all Canadians. Through this funding, Canadians can expect improved access to home, community and palliative care services; more support for informal caregivers; and better access to mental health support for as many as 500,000 young Canadians under the age of 25 who cannot currently receive even basic mental health services.