A Comprehensive Plan for Mental Health Care Across Canada

We need to ensure that mental health care is treated as a full and equal part of Canada’s universal public health care system.

A re-elected Liberal government will:

  • Establish a new federal transfer to provinces and territories—the Canada Mental Health Transfer—to assist jurisdictions to expand the delivery of high-quality, accessible, and free mental health services. Building on the principles of universality and accessibility in the Canada Health Act, this transfer will help establish standards in each province and territory, so that Canadians are able to expect services that are timely, universal, and culturally competent. This will help each jurisdiction focus on and solve critical backlogs in service and provide help to those who need it, according to the unique needs in each region.
  • Commit to permanent, ongoing funding for mental health services under the Canada Mental Health Transfer, with an initial investment of $4.5 billion over 5 years. Including the existing bilateral agreement on mental health services signed in 2017, this would bring federal support for mental health services to $2.5 billion per year by 2025-26. This is in addition to further investments we will make to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities with better access to trauma and mental health services.
  • Undertake a comprehensive review of access to the Disability Tax Credit, CPP-Disability and other federal benefits and programs to ensure they are available to people experiencing mental health challenges.
  • Include mental health as a specific element of occupational health and safety under the Canada Labour Code and require federally regulated employers to take preventative steps to address workplace stress and injury.
  • Fully fund a national, three-digit mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline.
  • Work with partners to ensure timely access to perinatal mental health services.

This funding will mean more access to psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, and other community supports. It will mean better care for children and youth, who have sacrificed so much this past year. And it will mean the millions of Canadians who struggle with their mental health—many of whom often don’t seek treatment—will be able to access the services they need.