[Excerpt] The pandemic has had a devastating impact on mental health, substance use and homelessness in Canada.
In 2021, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) undertook a federation-wide research project to understand how community mental health organizations have been impacted by and responded to the pandemic.
Our research helped us formulate which federal policy responses are
required so that community mental health organizations — and the people they serve — can get through and recover from the pandemic.
Key findings from the research:
The pandemic has had devastating impacts on the mental health, substance use and homelessness of Canadians, and highlighted pre-existing and increasing needs for services.
There is a significant and growing need for mental health and addiction services available through the not-for-profit and public sectors, including ongoing in-person and virtual counseling and psychotherapy.
The current funding of not-for-profit mental health and addiction services delivered by charitable
organizations is inadequate and unsustainable.
CMHAs feel that community mental health organizations are underfunded, as the provinces and
territories currently dedicate only around 5-6% of overall healthcare spending to mental health and
addictions, a portion of which goes to community mental health organizations.