Original language of petition: English
Across the Federal Health Portfolio, the Government of Canada is committed to improving the mental health of Canadians. We recognize that the availability of perinatal mental health resources and services may be impacted by the pandemic. To help provide rapid support for new parents, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have recently developed two resources to support the mental health of pregnant persons who are expecting or who have recently had a baby, including:
In addition, we have launched a new online portal that provides access to a virtual network of psycho-social supports. This new portal, called Wellness Together Canada (https://ca.portal.gs/), provides 24/7 access to free evidence-based tools and resources for Canadians in all provinces and territories, in both official languages to help meet their needs for mental health and substance use supports. The portal will also connect Canadians to peer support workers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals for confidential chat sessions or phone calls.
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is mandated to promote and protect Canadians' health and is committed to promoting maternal and child health, which includes supporting positive parental mental health during the perinatal and postpartum periods.
PHAC invests over $115 million annually in the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Program (CPNP), the Community Action Program for Children (CAPC), and the Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities program (AHSUNC), which collectively serve over 280,000 prenatal and recently postpartum women, new parents and young children each year, through community-based projects across Canada. These programs reach populations vulnerable to health inequalities (due to low income, teen pregnancy, social and geographic isolation, recent arrival to Canada, substance use issues and/or family violence), and are in a unique position to offer mental health supports to women and families who may be less likely to participate in mainstream programming. Specific mental health components include:
PHAC also supports the development of a number of specific resources promoting the positive mental health of families and children, including the:
In addition to the above:
The Government of Canada is investing $5 billion over ten years to improve Canadians’ access to mental health services. The investment is being provided directly to provinces and territories to help them expand access to community-based mental health and addiction services for children and youth, integrate services for people with complex needs, and spread proven models of community mental health care and culturally appropriate interventions linked to primary health services. In August 2017, an agreement was reached with the provinces and territories on a Common Statement of Principles for Shared Health Priorities that confirmed these priorities. Bilateral agreements have since been finalized with each jurisdiction that set out details of how they will use federal funding in future years, consistent with the CSOP.
Through PHAC’s Mental Health Promotion Innovation Fund, the Government of Canada is investing $39 million from 2019-2028 to address multiple risk and protective factors to promote mental health for children, youth, young adults and populations susceptible to mental health inequities (e.g., low-income families, immigrants and refugees, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, the LGBTQ2+ community, people living with disabilities and people with other socio-economic risk factors).
Surveillance is a core function of public health. PHAC undertakes surveillance activities to provide information to guide policies, programs, and public health action. The Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System (CPSS) is a national surveillance program that monitors and reports on maternal, fetal and infant health. The CPSS also conducts targeted epidemiological analyses and research to address issues highly relevant to its mandate and organizational priorities. The CPSS tracks and reports on 15 perinatal health indicators, consisting of measures of maternal, fetal and infant health determinants and outcomes. Most recently, PHAC collaborated with Statistics Canada to conduct a rapid survey on maternal health, the 2018/2019 Survey on Maternal Health (MHS). The MHS provides a snapshot of the mental health of mothers who gave birth between January 1, 2018 and June 30, 2018. More information about the survey can be found at: https://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb/p2SV.pl?Function=getSurvey&SDDS=5283#a1.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||10|
|Prince Edward Island||2|