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CMA faces stigma issues

Canadian Medical Association Resolutions adopted at annual meeting Aug. 8, 2008

Globe and Mail Update

Canadian Medical Association Resolutions adopted at annual meeting Aug. 8, 2008:


1. CMA, provincial/territorial medical associations and affiliates will support and work with the MHCC (Mental Health Co-ordinating Council) in the development of a national mental health strategy.


2. CMA urges Canadian MDs and their organizations to work together to transform patient care for people with mental illness through a strategy including, but not limited to:

- Fighting the stigma that exists within our own profession and physician organizations

- Advocating for parity of allocation of resources toward the continuum of mental mental health care and research

Promoting an evidence-based mental health system anchored on:

- Strong primary care networks

- Community-based care

- Team-based and multidisciplinary care in a public system

- Adequate social policy supports such as housing and income

- Involvement of primary care and specialist physicians in the planning processes


3. The CMA will develop a five-year plan focused on improving access to mental health prevention and treatment and eliminating stigma and discrimination


4. The CMA, in collaboration with the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Psychiatric Association, will establish national benchmarks for access to psychiatric treatment in rural and remote areas


5. The CMA will develop and implement a strategy that supports the mental health of Canada's doctors


6. The CMA will work with the MHCC and the CPA to develop and implement stigma reduction programs that target stigmatization generated within the health care system


7. The CMA and provincial/territorial medical associations will work with provincial/territorial governments to introduce mental health programs in schools, including early and systematic mental health screening and access to appropriate social and health care resources.


8. The CMA will encourage medical schools to address, in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula, the impact of stigma in the diagnosis and treatment of and recovery from mental illness regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or religion


9. The CMA urges Canadian medical schools to include in their curricula material related to the deleterious effects of negative stereotyping of Aboriginal peoples suffering from mental illnesses and substance use disorders


10. The CMA and provincial/territorial medical associations will call on governments to work toward improving the coordination between existing mental health services for Canada's children


11. The CMA and provincial/territorial medical associations will work with provincial/territorial governments to support the creation of school programs to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness

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