Fragmented Law & Fragmented Lives: Canada’s Mental Health Care System

J.A. Chandler & C.M. Flood, eds., Law and Mind: Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2017)

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2020-33

27 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2020

See all articles by Colleen M. Flood

Colleen M. Flood

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law

Bryan Thomas

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: July 28, 2017

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the role of law in shaping Canada’s mental health care system and perpetuating failed policy choices, leading to serious access problems for those in need of mental health care. We begin with a general discussion of the funding of Canada’s mental health care system, focusing on a lack of universal coverage for psychological counseling, prescription drugs, home care and other community supports. Next we examine how the law, particularly the present practice in interpreting the constitutional division of powers, impacts the funding of mental health services and supports a fragmented delivery system. We then review gaps in the delivery of primary care services (including prescription drugs), hospital services and community care services. We also discuss particular failings in our present system for the treatment of children with mental health care needs. Having traced the legal underpinnings for the fragmentation of Canadian mental health services, we end by exploring how law (both in terms of law reform and litigation) could play a more positive role in improving the Canadian mental health care system.

Keywords: mental health law; Canada; health care financing

Suggested Citation

Flood, Colleen M. and Thomas, Bryan, Fragmented Law & Fragmented Lives: Canada’s Mental Health Care System (July 28, 2017). J.A. Chandler & C.M. Flood, eds., Law and Mind: Mental Health Law and Policy in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2017), Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2020-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3662667

Colleen M. Flood (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
416-697-4594 (Phone)

Bryan Thomas

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

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