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Opinion

Targeted funding for mental health: has a policy window finally opened?

By Louise Bradley      

The stage is set and cautious optimism is warranted. For the first time in my life’s work in mental health, I see something on the horizon that looks a lot like equality. But I have been in this field long enough to know that it might just be a mirage—this cannot be allowed to happen.

Health Minister Jane Philpott, pictured in this file photo at the National Press Theatre. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
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This generation’s political leaders and policy makers have been gifted with an opportunity to redress an inequity entrenched almost 60 years ago. In 1957, when Canada took its first step towards medicare with hospital insurance, only patients in general hospitals were covered, leaving out the 40 per cent of patients receiving care in psychiatric hospitals. Since that time, mental wellness has remained chronically underfunded as compared with physical health. Stigma made it impossible to address the disparity in

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