Collaboration: The key to making meaningful change for the health and welfare of the people of Canada

Ottawa, ON (December 6, 2019) – The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) applauds Prime Minister Trudeau and the 43rd speech from the throne, delivered today in Ottawa. Government’s commitments to further the work of reconciliation, redress climate change, and improve upon the health and safety of Canadians are particularly welcome.

“The CPA’s strategic priorities for 2020 include delivering on our commitments to the mental health and well being of Indigenous people and to contribute to policy discussions about how individuals and communities can best respond to climate change and emergencies” says CPA’s President Dr. Ian Nicholson.  Meaningful change on these two important topics requires the ongoing leadership of government and the commitment and collaboration from among a range of stakeholders. 

“One of CPA’s longstanding commitments has been to help bring about better access to mental health services for the people of Canada.” notes CPA’s CEO, Dr. Karen Cohen. 

Many of Canada’s mental health services, delivered by psychologists and others in communities, are not covered by our country’s public health insurance plans.  If Canadians need psychological services, they either pay out of pocket or rely on extended health care insurance provided through employment.  Extended health insurance plans often have caps on coverage that are too low to cover an evidence-based course of treatment.

The CPA would like to see tax incentives for employers to provide meaningful coverage for psychological services through extended health care plans.  We would also like to see insurance, private or public, ensure equal coverage for services for mental and physical health problems.  Currently, our health insurance plans offer lesser coverage for mental health problems than for problems related to physical health.  It is time to remove that disparity.  We are glad to hear our Prime Minister’s commitment to ensure Canadians get care for mental health and substance use problems when they need it.  The CPA stands ready to help him, and other partners and stakeholders, in that important work.

About the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA): The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) is the national association for the science, practice and education of psychology in Canada. With approximately 7,000 members and affiliates, CPA is Canada’s largest association for psychology. To learn more, visit

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Eric Bollman

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