The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant adverse impacts on the health and well-being of Canadians, leading to increased reports of stress, anxiety, depression, and substance use since the beginning of the pandemic. This difficult time has highlighted the need to address long-standing gaps in the delivery of mental health and substance use services across the country.
In March of 2022, the Government of Canada announced that it will be working closely with SCC, as well as interested parties and partners, to develop national standards for mental health and substance use services. The standards will provide an evidence-based framework for service delivery that Canadians can rely on, no matter where they live or where they access services.
The role of SCC
We will launch the National Mental Health and Substance Use (MHSU) Standardization Collaborative, which will engage a diverse range of key stakeholders to inform the work on these and future standards. This will include representatives from provinces and territories, Indigenous partners, health organizations, and people with lived and living experience.
The MHSU Collaborative will advise on the scope and detailed statements of work for the standards deliverables, prior to SCC engaging with standards development organizations to develop the documents. It will also identify interested parties and technical expertise to support the standardization process.
In the short term, the process will establish six integrated national standards-based deliverables, evaluate the needs and opportunities for related conformity assessment schemes and accreditation programs to verify the implementation of those deliverables, and develop a national mental health and substance use standardization roadmap. Future work will build off the standardization roadmap to continue improving mental health and substance use service delivery and treatment outcomes through standardization.
Six priority areas
The MHSU Collaborative will work to advance national standards-based documents based on six priority areas:
- Integration of MHSU Services in Primary Care Settings
- Digital MHSU Apps
- Integrated Community-based Youth MHSU Services
- Integrated MHSU Services for People with Complex Needs
- Substance Use Treatment Centres
- Substance Use Workforce
More information about the structure and priority areas of the MHSU Collaborative can be found in the Backgrounder document, which you can download here.
We are currently inviting individuals with expertise in mental health and substance use to participate in the Working Groups and Task Groups under the Collaborative.
If you would like more information about opportunities to participate in the MHSU Collaborative, email email@example.com