One of the significant causes of health disparities in countries is socioeconomic status. Health inequalities are health disparities between certain populations that are systemic, preventable, unfair, and discriminatory. Health disparities consistently place those who are already marginalized in society in terms of poverty, gender, race, and origin at a health risk. In Canada, the government consistently provides measures to reduce the inequities; one of such programs is making mental health treatment accessible to the majority of the population.
Each year the government of Canada states its goal in the budget to provide fairness and equality for all Canadians: individual people, families, and communities. As such, one of the existing programs is “to invest $6 billion over 10 years for home care, and $5 billion over 10 years to support mental health initiatives” (Government of Canada, n.d., para. 15). These focused expenditures have the capability to enhance the welfare of all Canadians and are worthy of discussion.
Mental illness encompasses a wide spectrum of mental health problems defined by changes in thought, emotion, or behavior that are linked with suffering and decreased functioning. In research from Statistics Canada (2019), it has been demonstrated that “roughly 5.3 million people in Canada mentioned they needed some help for their mental health;” however, at the moment of the data collection, these needs were merely satisfied (para. 3). Hence, the discussed program would eliminate inequalities in all provinces in Canada via strengthening community-based mental health promotion and interventions.
There are several organizations involved in the implementation of the intervention. First, the national government has made a concerted effort to improve access to mental health services. Next, the department of health has committed to collaborating with the Canadian Institute for Health Information to evaluate the performance of the program (Moroz et al., 2020). Finally, the provinces in Canada are adopting proactive plans to increase access to mental health experts by expanding the availability of therapists and utilizing virtual technology to overcome geographic constraints.
Programs that provide care in the primary and care settings have been shown to be beneficial in enhancing access and conveying intervention programs while also generating returns on investment. More importantly, they display potential for future delivery of psychological therapies to key populations via stepped care models (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2018). By coordinating treatment, community-based mental care provision and tiered care models can minimize wait times and expand mental health support, making this governmental intervention highly successful.
Public health practitioners in the United States can learn several lessons from that experience that might improve population health. Namely, it is valuable to Provide money to assist the expansion of cost-effective patient care measures, such as expanding access to psychotherapists and e-mental healthcare solutions. Moreover, it would be beneficial to grant funds to improve the administration and assessment of new initiatives being introduced across the country. Finally, there is a need to deliberate about and devote funds to the establishment of a centralized national organization to review the mental health initiatives that are being implemented across the country.
Thus, Canadian data reviewed here demonstrates that public and primary care-based prevention and treatment programs and treatments enhance access to care, providing more value to patients while saving healthcare money. As the number of reported mental health issues and illnesses rises, health leaders should be aware of the measures needed to reorganize the mental health systems to enhance mental health outcomes. This could be done through productive, value-based options, as well as advocating for capital assets and the sharing of best practices.
Government of Canada. (n.d.). Budget 2017: Chapter 3 – a strong Canada at home and in the world. Web.
Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2018). Strengthening the case for investing in Canada’s mental health system: Economic considerations. Web.
Moroz, N., Moroz, I., & D’Angelo, M. S. (2020). Mental health services in Canada: Barriers and cost-effective solutions to increase access. Healthcare Management Forum, 33(6), 282–287. Web.
Statistics Canada. (2019). Mental health care needs, 2018. Web.