29 March 2023
Budget 2023 lacks the needed support to address and improve the mental health crisis and access to care crisis in Canada.
On 28 March 2023, Hon. Chrystia Freeland unveiled the Government of Canada's Federal Budget for 2023. While this budget continues to build on the much-needed progress for mental health services and access to these services, it continues to once again lack key elements that have previously been promised or mandated to federal Ministers to ensure people have access to affordable (or free), fully accessible, and transparent care.
I am pleased by the investments in the National 988 Suicide and Crisis Line with $158.4 million over three years given to the Public Health Agency of Canada to support its implementation; the $359.2 million over five years for a renewed Canadian Drug and Substances Strategy; the $810.6 million over five years to help support Indigenous Peoples medical travel and to maintain medically necessary services, including mental health services; and more.
While these investments are great, this Government has missed the mark with some things and I will continue to express extreme disappointment with this budget for not providing proper funding for community care providers and supporters, proper investment in working to prevent eating disorders among Canadians, continued funding for a National 988 Suicide and Crisis Line to ensure its continued daily operation after implementation, as well as not fulfilling the 2021 election promise of creating a Canada Mental Health Transfer to the provinces and territories for improving services.
Now is the time to act for mental health in Canada. Now is the time to ensure that people have access to the services and the care that they deserve.
The views expressed on this website and any social media account (@joshuamjbell) are those solely of Joshua Bell. The information on this website should not be taken as medical advice. If you are in a mental health crisis or need help, reach out and make that connection.
I acknowledge that I, in Hamilton and everywhere in Canada, am located on the traditional territories of many Indigenous Communities and that we all have a responsibility to learn more about the rich history and culture of Indigenous Communities and their People as we work toward full reconciliation.
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