• One in five Canadians will experience a mental disorder in a given year. 
  • The kinds of mental health problems most likely to be experienced by Canadians are depression and anxiety.
  • According to the World Health Organization, by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability adjusted life years for all ages and both sexes (second to heart disease).[1]
  • According to the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health (or CAMIMH, of which CPA is a member), two out of three people with a diagnosable mental disorder in Canada do not seek or receive care. Many factors influence the low utilization of service but these include the stigma involved in seeking help for a mental health problem and the availability and accessibility of needed treatments.
  • Also according to CAMIMH, it is estimated that Canada loses 30 billion dollars annually in direct and lost productivity associated with mental health problems and addiction.[2]
  • Research has shown that for the most common mental disorders, anxiety and depression, psychological therapies are treatments of choice.
  • Psychologists are Canada’s single largest group of licensed and specialized mental health care providers and it is psychologists who are primary researchers and providers of evidence-based psychological treatments.
  • There are important barriers to accessing psychological service in Canada. With cuts to public institutional resource, psychologists are increasingly working in the private sector where their services are not covered by public health insurance plans. This means that many people without funds or private health insurance cannot access the services of psychologist.
  • Though psychologists tell us that their services are well utilized and wait lists exist even for private practice services, it is a significant concern to the members of the profession and the professional organizations of psychology that many Canadians cannot access the psychological services they need.
  • Other countries have increasingly recognized the need to afford their citizenry access to psychological service. As of 2006, public health insurance in Australia covers services provided by registered psychologists. The UK has undertaken to spend £170 million on improving access to psychological therapies by 2011.
  • Canadians deserve access to the right health service from the right provider in the right place and at the right time. Psychologists invite Canada’s policy and decision-makers to join us in making access to service a mental health priority for Canada.

[1]http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/depression/definition/en/

[2]http://www.camimh.ca/frameworkforaction.htm