Changing Directions, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy or CanadaForeword
On behal o the Mental Health Commission o Canada, it gives us great pleasure to place beore you
ChangingDirections, Changing Lives: The Mental Health Strategy or Canada.
The publication o this document representsthe ulillment o a key element o the mandate that was conerred upon the Mental Health Commission oCanada by the Government o Canada in April 2007.The Commission has drawn on the experience, knowledge and advice o thousands o people across thecountry in the course o drating this
The stories we have heard rom people living with mental healthproblems and illnesses, their amilies, and the many dedicated people who work with them across the countryhave moved us, have angered us, and have inspired us.This
is about improving mental health and wellbeing or everyone and creating, together, a mentalhealth system that can truly meet the needs o people o all ages living with mental health problems and illnesses, and their amilies. This is not a simple task. There are no miracle solutions and there is no single templatethat will work or everyone or or every jurisdiction.This
thereore tackles a broad range o issues and presents many recommendations or change. Thehard work o putting these recommendations into practice now becomes the responsibility o governments,o providers o mental health and related services, and o the countless people in every corner o our land whouse these services every year. The Commission will continue to do its part, but transorming the mental healthsystem in this country is truly a job or us all.We believe that there now exists an historic opportunity to make a dierence. It will not be easy, but the winds ochange have been swirling about the mental health system or many years.We can and must deeat the stigma that has blighted people’s attitudes or ar too long and has ed the discrimination that so many have endured. We can and must ensure that everyone who conronts a mental healthproblem or illness is able to count on the same support, treatment and services as anyone who is acing aphysical health challenge. We can and must promote mental health in all walks o lie, and do everything possible to reduce people’s risk o developing a mental health problem or illness, or o becoming so desperate as tocontemplate suicide.There are many positive signs o progress. The media are playing an increasingly constructive role. The economic signiicance o better mental health is becoming more apparent to employers and governments alike.Our knowledge o what works to promote recovery and wellbeing is growing with each passing day.
Changing Directions, Changing Lives
provides the blueprint to translate aspiration or change into action, todraw together people’s eorts across the country into an unstoppable movement to improve mental health. Wehope that you will join with us to make this happen.Michael Kirby David GoldbloomLouise Bradley