May Mental Health Week 2023 & Universal Mental Health Care Survey

People living in Ontario believe that we are in a mental health crisis and that governments are not doing enough about it.

A recent survey conducted for the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) found that 87% agree that people living in Ontario should have access to universal mental health care.  

Universal mental health care means the services needed are available, they are funded through public health insurance plans and free to the individual, and they are the same – no matter where a person lives or who they are. Universal mental health care meets everyone’s needs. 

“We hear stories from people across the country every day that services are hard to find and not available to everyone,” says Margaret Eaton, National CEO, CMHA. “Just like physical health, mental health is important to living a fully engaged life, which is why mental health services should be fully covered.” 

The survey found that of the 37% of Ontarians who have experienced a mental health concern in the past year, 34% did not reach out for help primarily because it is too expensive or because they don’t know where to find it. The research also showed that 57% of people living in Ontario would access mental health care through a community organization with a free program.  

“Mental health care doesn’t just happen in a doctor’s office or in a hospital,” adds Eaton. “There are community-based mental health services that work together with the medical system, and they need to be properly funded. They must also be easy-to-find, free and available where people live, work and play.”

The release of these findings aligns with CMHA’s 72nd annual Mental Health Week, May 1 to 7, 2023. This year’s theme is MY STORY and aims to shine a spotlight on community mental health care champions, programs and communities while showcasing the importance of securing universal mental health care. 

“At CMHA, Windsor-Essex we have been sharing stories of our clients and employees as part of our This Is CMHA campaign,” mentions Dr. Sonja Grbevski, CEO, CMHA, Windsor-Essex. “It is amazing the journey that clients have experienced, and the work that our staff does daily is inspiring.”

This Mental Health Week, we can harness the power of storytelling to help build connections and understanding between each other while strengthening our communities. To get involved, you can: 

  • Share your story and support for universal mental health care using the hashtags #MyStory and #MentalHealthWeek;  
  • Learn about different types of mental health supports and how they can be used to support you or someone in your community;  
  • Visit more information and to download resources;  
  • Donate to support CMHA mental health programs and services;   
  • Connect with your local CMHA if you or someone you love is struggling or visit the Government of Canada’s Wellness Together portal. If you are in crisis, please call 1-833-456-4566 toll free in Canada (1-866-277-3553 in Quebec) or dial 911.  

About your Canadian Mental Health Association 

Locally there are several activities scheduled throughout the month of May including:

  • May 2 – Ride Don’t Hide Media Launch
  • May 3 – Wellness Wednesday Walk with City of Windsor & community partners
  • May 4 – Wake Up Speak Up with Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould
  • May 6 – Glow Ride for Families and Children @ Malden Park
  • May 26/27 – Jeff Burrows’ Drumathon

In addition, there are several mental health education and training opportunities throughout month.

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