Purpose

Changing Directions, Changing Lives marks the first time that Canada has developed a vision and priorities that can enable all Canadians to contribute to improving mental health outcomes.

Mental health problems and illnesses affect us all. They are more widespread than cancer or heart disease.  But the unfortunate power of stigma and its legacy of fear prevent the pain and costs of mental health problems and illnesses from receiving a level of attention and support other serious health issues do. Too many Canadians who are living with mental health problems or illnesses do not have access to the full range of services, treatment, and supports that they need to rebuild their lives.

This Strategy encourages all of us to give mental health issues their due and to help redress a legacy of underfunding and neglect. The Strategy sets out a series of recommendations in a blueprint for change that promises to improve quality of life for Canadians in every province and territory.