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)
27 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 28, 2017
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
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