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Canadian Mental Health Association Questions 2004

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) believes that to ensure the

best possible treatment and services for people experiencing mental illness and

other mental health problems, the development and implementation of a Pan-

Canadian Strategy for Mental Illness and Mental Health is critical. The following

questions have been developed to assist the Association and other interested

individuals to better understand the actions your party will support in this area.

1. One in five Canadians will be affected by mental illness/stress/burn

out. What will your party do to integrate the diagnosis and treatment

of mental illness into the core health care system?

The Green Party is the only party with definite goals and strategies to address the serious problems of stress and mental illness. These issues take a huge toll on Canadians and cause great cost to our healthcare system. The following is a page from our platform (available in full at www.greenparty.ca)



Mental Health

Finding Support

Almost everyone knows someone who

battles with depression. But did you also

know that stress and mental illness are

now the number one cause for lost worktime

and income?

The Green Party recognizes that mental

and emotional health programs are the

most neglected components of our

health care system. That’s why we will

build an innovative funding network to

support volunteer and non-profit

organizations in offering care to our

communities.

People, and families who are experiencing difficulty, need

someone to reach out to. The Green Party will make sure that a

helping hand is available.

The Green Party will:

Support community based self-help groups, social service

agencies, independent living centres and advocacy projects.

Re-examine the effectiveness and safety of the increasing use

of pharmaceutical treatments for mental health problems,

especially for children.

Involve mental health clients and psychiatric survivors in

research planning, policy development, program evaluation

and other decisions that affect their lives.



2. What tangible actions will your party take to improve collaboration

between all levels of government to build a Pan-Canadian Strategy for

Mental Illness and Mental Health?

Please see above.

3. Within six months of the election, will your party work on convening

roundtable meetings with representatives from all levels of

government, the voluntary sector and health care professional

associations to develop a draft Pan-Canadian Strategy on Mental

Illness and Mental Health?

This is not specifically part of our platform but certainly seems to be reasonable. It would warrant further investigation.

4. The lack of affordable housing has been an issue for many years. All

sectors – public, private and voluntary – have recognized housing as a

major concern, in particular with respect to mental health. What

programs would your party put in place to address this national

crisis?

The Green Party’s platform includes restarting a national housing program.



5. Individuals experiencing serious mental health problems continue to be living “on the edge.” Poverty among this population is a serious issue. How soon after the election will your party take action to ensure that income security programs respond to the unique needs of different population groups, including those individuals living with serious and persistent mental health problems?

I believe that, if you take the time to review our platform, we have many programs and policies that would greatly benefit this overlooked segment of society.

Sincerely,
Chris

Dr. Chris Milburn
Green Party Candidate for Sydney-Victoria 2004
43 Rigby Road, Sydney, N.S. B1P 4T4
phone: 902-539-6852 cell: 902-567-4166
email: greenparty at ns.sympatico.ca
website: http://www.forheavenssake.ca/greenchris.htm