OTTAWA, October 26, 2021 – The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) applauds today’s announcement of appointing the first federal Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
“We have long called for the creation of a dedicated ministry for mental health and substance use, and we are deeply encouraged to have this government acting on this vision through the creation of the new Minister of Mental Health and Addictions” states CASW President, Joan Davis-Whelan.
The federal government has a responsibility to provide a coordinated vision and leadership to solve our most pressing health, social, and economic challenges – challenges exposed and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic—and through this federal government’s previous investments in the social determinants of health, we know an evidence-based, public health approach is a key priority.
Previously, there were no federal departments or ministries to specifically address mental health and substance use issues. “Given the seamless relationship between the two, this new Ministry will help shift from addressing mental health and problematic substance use in isolation to a joint approach towards overall mental wellness” states Davis-Whelan. “Today’s announcement is a crucial next step, cementing mental health as a fiduciary, social, and philosophical priority in our country.”
CASW congratulates the Honourable Dr. Carolyn Bennett on this historic appointment and look forward to supporting her work in any way possible.
“This work will be vital to not only our individual and collective journeys of recovery, but also in charting a new path forward to achieving parity between mental and physical health in Canada.”
For further information:
Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW, CAE
CASW Executive Director