A problem that we often read about in the US, is also a problem in Canada, because while public health care is available for Canadians, that doesn’t include mental health services that would help avoid problems later on.
In 2018, the Canadian Mental Health Association published a paper calling on the federal government to publicly fund mental health care. Fardous Hosseiny, who worked on the paper, says earlier intervention for mental health — in the form of social workers, psychologists, and psychotherapists— is needed because psychiatrists are currently overwhelmed with seeing everyone now when they should be focusing on more complex mental health illnesses.
“We don’t wait until people are at stage 4 cancer to intervene, we intervene as soon as we can,” he says. “We have to invest early for mental health as well.”
This situation comes about because we fail to see the forest for all of the trees. Short term, we see the increased cost of covering all of these services aimed at early intervention and prevention. What we don’t see is what kind of impact that might have on lessening the costs associated with mental health issues that continue to get worse until we are now paying for a crisis.
We mostly don’t know what impact that might have on lowering those costs, because we haven’t really tried it.
Maybe it’s worth a shot?