Mental Health

The past year has been difficult, 40 percent of Canadians reported that their mental health deteriorated last year, and for those with pre-existing mental health conditions that number rose to 61 percent. Specifically, young people have seen the greatest decline in mental health compared to pre-pandemic levels.  

Seven out of ten health care workers reported a worsening of their mental health during the pandemic. 64 percent of Indigenous people said their mental health had worsened. Racialized and Black Canadians can also face distinct challenges with mental health including structural racism and inequities in access to care.  

To support populations most affected by COVID-19 in dealing with mental health challenges, 

Budget 2021 proposes to: 

  • Provide $100 million over three years, starting in 2021 to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support projects for innovative mental health interventions for populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including health care workers, front-line workers, youth, seniors, Indigenous people, and racialized and Black Canadians.  
  • Provide $50 million over two years, starting in 2021 to Health Canada to support a trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stream of mental health programming for populations at high risk of experiencing COVID-19 trauma and those exposed to various trauma brought about by COVID-19. 
  • The Government of Canada has supported the Kids Help Line and funding will be extended into 2021-2022 to ensure that it can continue to deliver counselling services to youth during the pandemic.  

Before the pandemic began, almost one in ten Canadians reported that their mental health care needs were not met. A set of clear national standards is needed so that Canadians can access timely care, treatment, and support. To move forward on establishing national mental health standards, 

 Budget 2021 proposes to: 

  • Provide $45 million over two years, starting in 2021, to Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to help develop national mental health service standards, in collaboration with provinces and territories, health organizations, and key stakeholders. 

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