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Are Mental Health Services Underfunded?

July 22, 2013

Many debates exist around the topic of mental illness. One conversation that involves the brightest minds in medical research, healthcare, and related associations is how to fund Canadian mental health services. Regardless, solving the problem of underfunding is a challenge.


All too often, individuals with mental illness find their homes on streets or in unsuitable living situations. While there are a growing number of government support initiatives focused on serving this community, there is also an increasing demand for assistance.

When it comes to mental health there are no isolated issues. All concerns surrounding quality and accessibility of care are connected. Reviewing facts about mental illness in Canada and being aware of low funding are the first steps to ensuring this community will receive the care they need going forward.

Here are a Few Facts to Consider:

– Approximately 50 percent of Canadians living with a mental illness are undertreated.

– Funding for mental health services is being cut in many provinces, and others only allot a small fraction of funds to support people with mental illness.

– “Six out of 10 people with mental illness are not able to access the care they need.”

The Importance of Funding Mental Health Services

1)     An undiagnosed or untreated mental illness can be dangerous for the individual. Many studies estimate that severe mental illness can lead to early death if it goes untreated.

2)     At this time, there is little financial support going to mental health research. Research is the key to creating a system of support that reaches the maximum amount of people and treats the whole person.

Facts and information surfacing about people with mental illness is startling. Perhaps the most shocking thought is that this community is growing annually. Many organizations, associations, and other concerned citizens are encouraging government to open up more aid for this medical crisis.

Raising awareness and educating the public may grow support considerably. With more funding, people with mental illness can receive the care they need.

Let’s Talk About It

What are your thoughts about the mental health system in Canada?
How important is funding to the quality of care people with mental illness receive?

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