Are you in Crisis? Brantford and Brant County call 1-866-811-7188, Haldimand Norfolk  call 1-866-487-2278.

If you’re thinking about suicide, 9-8-8 is here to help. Call or text 9-8-8 toll free anytime.

You are currently on the:

CMHA National

Visit our provincial websites

We Need a New Act for Mental Health

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Canada Health Act. We can’t help but celebrate because that legislation made health care “universal.” But wait. Is it really universal? When it comes to mental health care, the answer is no. Absolutely not. Yes, your health card will pay for the mental health and substance use health care you get from medical doctors and in hospitals.

But what about the rest?   Think of it: most psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists aren’t funded. They’re businesses! Plus, not all substance use and eating disorder treatments are funded either. If you don’t have private insurance, like through your job, you will have to pay out of your own pocket. Otherwise, you can forget about getting care.

Some free services might exist in your community, like through a CMHA, however as with many community agencies, wait list and resource capacity are an issue due to insufficient operational funding.  So here we are, on our own, stuck behind that paywall or left holding the bill.   Our leaders tell us that health care is universal, but it simply isn’t true. Not for mental health and substance use health. Let’s tell them what “universal” really means.   We need the Minister of Health to tear down the paywalls to mental health care. Send an email asking him to revise the Canada Health Act so that everyone who needs care can get it. No matter where they live, or how much money they have.

All the best,  Sarah Kennell
National Director, Public Policy
for The Act for Mental Health Team
P.S. To read CMHA’s letter to the Minister of Health, you can click here.    Email the Minister of Health

Skip to content