October 15, 1962 (25th Parliament, 1st Session)

LIB

Mr. Macnaughton

Liberal

1. Has the minister, or the Department of National Health and Welfare, taken any steps to implement the proposals contained in the private member's resolution, concerning mental health, which was unanimously supported and adopted by this house on December 5, 1960?
2. Has the minister given consideration to the recent report by the Canadian Mental Health Association, entitled Mental Health Services in Canada, released in January, 1962, and the report of the study commission on psychiatric hospitals in the province of Quebec; and, has any action been taken in regard to the proposals set out in these reports?
3. Has the minister received any representations from medical persons, boards, or associations, concerning the utilization and size of the mental health grant; and, if so, what, in substance, were such representations?
4. Has the government considered increasing the grant sufficiently to meet the existing needs in this field?
5. Since 1958, how many provincial governments have requested the inclusion of mental hospitals in the federal hospital insurance program (Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act) ?
6. Has the royal commission on health services been given any special instruction to study mental health services in any particular?
7. Has the government given any consideration to the introduction of measures necessary to bring about an improvement in mental health and motivation so essential in the development of physical fitness, such as, guidance clinics, school mental health programs, family counselling, and pre-and post-natal health services?
Answer by: Mr. Monteith:
1. The advisory committee of the Department of National Health and Welfare on mental health considered the private member's resolution and resolved in March 1961 and again in March 1962:
That the advisory committee on mental health approves the resolution adopted in the House of Commons on December 5, 1960, which called on the government to "consider the advisability of co-operating with the provincial authorities and such professional and other groups as may be interested, in making a national survey of the extent of mental illness, its causes, problems and methods of treatment", and considers favourably the advisability of a national survey.
That the advisory committee on mental health supports the resolutions by the Canadian Psychiatric Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association; and recommends that these resolutions be brought to the attention of the royal commission on health needs in the most appropriate manner.
That in the event that the general purposes of the Macnaughton resolution are not implemented by the royal commission on health needs the subject be brought again before the advisory committee on mental health.
Questions
It is understood that several briefs to the royal commission on health services brought this matter to the attention of the commission.
2. (a) A formal and final report by the Canadian Mental Health Association on the subject Mental Health Services in Canada has not, to the knowledge of the Department of National Health and Welfare, been issued. (The preliminary draft report bearing the above mentioned title was studied by representatives from various provinces and organizations at an institute supported by the department held in Ottawa in January 1962).
(b) Copies of the report of the study commission on psychiatric hospitals in the province of Quebec were received by the Department of National Health and Welfare in August 1962. Action is not contemplated on the proposals set out in the report since these come within provincial jurisdiction. However officers of the department have had a number of consultations with provincial officials with regard to these proposals.
3. Representations have been received that the mental health grant should be increased and provision be made for annual increases in accordance with the growth of population.
4. All national health grants, including the mental health grant, are under continuous study in order to provide suitable federal assistance on behalf of provincial health programs.
5. Subsequent to discussions concerning the inclusion of mental hospitals under the Hospital Insurance Program at the dominion-provincial conference held in November 1957, the inclusion of these hospitals was raised by Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia at the dominion-provincial conference in July 1960.
6. No special instructions have been given to the royal commission on health services. Its terms of reference remain as initially laid down by the government.
7. No, the government has not considered the specific introduction of particular measures to bring about improvements in mental health. The existing health agreements between the federal and provincial governments afford adequate means of working out in a co-operative way extensions and improvements in such services as guidance clinics, school of mental health programs, family counselling, and prenatal and postnatal health services.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
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