Mental Wellness Alliance raising awareness.

Mental health problems affect nearly every family. At a minimum, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health issues or addiction. Mental health issues cost the economy more than $50 billion, while it causes over 500,000 Canadians to miss work weekly, and is a major cause of disability.

Some facts on just what we are facing.

It is estimated that over 1.5 million people in the GTHA’s labour force have experienced a mental health issue. That’s 1 in 2 people.

Over the next 10 years, current mental health issues in the GTHA labour force could result in almost $17 billion in lost productivity.

Projections suggest that there could be up to 583 suicides in the GTHA this year if past suicide rates continue.

What we are doing about it.

The Burlington Foundation is committed to supporting our community and focusing our efforts on areas that are most in need. Data from our Vital Signs Reports over the last few years confirm that mental health issues are growing and there is a pressing need for help. In 2014 we launched the Mental Wellness Alliance. We’re working to help keep the conversation going about mental health and wellness, so we can break down misperceptions and promote healthy communities. To accomplish this objective and to reach key audiences with education and awareness Burlington Foundation has partnered with CMHA Halton Region Branch. Their Education and Training Services feature a series of workshops, presentations and tools all designed to support the members of our community with various aspects of mental health and wellness needs.

Improving access.

The second part of our work together focuses on access to services.

  • Only 1 in 3 Ontario adults get access to much-needed programs and services
  • Only 1 in 6 children and youth get access

The Burlington Foundation Mental Wellness Alliance will now focus on finalizing the strategic and executional model for a ‘one-window’ accessibility initiative. We have asked Dr. Stephen Selchen, Chief of Psychiatry at Joseph Brant Hospital, to facilitate a discussion on a proposed vision and strategy for how best to implement our public-private sector initiative. Dr. Selchen was recently recruited from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. He joins us with both a passion and background and expertise in community mental health.

We look forward to an engaging dialogue with a view to reaching consensus on the future which would include immediate next steps (i.e., gap analysis and identifying priorities for investment).

Stay connected with us to learn more as these meetings take place throughout 2017.

By bringing together and helping to coordinate mental health and addiction services across a broad range of public and private sector service providers, we are aiming to develop an innovative model that will enable navigational supports so people can receive timely access to the services and help they need, when they need it.

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