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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Sunday 6 May 2012

A Canada Consciously Touched by Fire: A National Mental Health Strategy

Canada is about to get its first-ever national mental health strategy – a massive report that may persuade Prime Minister Stephen Harper that his government must return Ottawa to a lead role on health care.

Specifically, the blueprint wants federal and provincial governments to earmark nine per cent of their health spending for mental health – up from about seven per cent now.

It will emphasize recovery from mental illness, and urge for more prevention, especially when dealing with young people.

It will also stress the high cost of inaction. Mental health problems cost the Canadian economy at least $50-billion a year.

People from all walks of life are seeking the same thing – a reason to connect, to trust others, to have faith in a promising tomorrow.  Right now, that’s a tall order, but like a diet, when it’s hardest is when the impact starts to be felt.  Best part - the animosity, the anxiety, the ethnic tensions and social tensions and economic tensions - when we look at them the right way, these are all issues related to the expression of states of mental health.

Given the lonely path we've chosen, you may ask - Why Should I Care?  You need to care because this isn't about diagnosisng more individuals with problems - it's about empowering our society, from the soldiers coming home from Afghanistan to the average, frustrated desk worker to be at their best and have access to the tools they need to stay at their best.  You need to care because mental health matters.

We can only realize our full, true potential (Canada's first, best destiny) if we learn from the Drummond Report, from this forthcoming national mental health strategy and other seeds that have been planted:

-         You can’t have effective services if they aren’t broad in scope and centrally coordinated.  This is especially true in healthcare, specialized collabiration is the way of the future.

-         Putting all your eggs in one basket – be it a single ideology or a single economic resource – is folly.  IDIC – evolution is about maximizing diversity, as is social evolution.  That’s why from Greek Hellenism to Canada’s multiculturalism, the best in human history has come through expansion and inclusion, not isolation or dominance.
-          When you look at others as lesser-thans, you cut yourself off from our collective potential.

-      Mental health is everything - how we think, what we ignore, what makes us angry and what inspires us are all functions of how our brain manages that information.  We can learn to manage it better.

If you want to go fast, go alone. 

If you want to go far –

Personally, I believe in the power of you and I.  Do you?

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