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With the Right Amendments, the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act Can Support All

Nov. 26, 2013 - The Government of Canada announced yesterday that it will re-instate Bill C-54 (now re-numbered Bill C-14), the Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, in the Senate of Canada. As a coalition of 12 national health organizations, we are optimistic that the government will work with us to amend the Bill so it supports victims without perpetuating the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.

The Government of Canada has demonstrated its dedication to destigmatizing mental health and mental illness by establishing the Mental Health Commission of Canada whose chief accomplishments have included the development of a pan-Canadian mental health strategy and a national anti-stigma initiative.

As a coalition of national professional health organizations we share the Government’s commitment to support all victims of crime as well as Canadians recovering from mental illness. With the re-instatement of the Bill, our coalition trusts that the Government of Canada will consider evidenced based amendments to the Bill which balance victims’ rights with an understanding and support of those living with mental illness.

Our national coalition represents professionals and constituents that work with many thousands of Canadians who live with a mental illness each and every day. Persons with mental illness are more likely to be victims rather than perpetrators of crime.  The greatest tools we have to enable persons with mental illness to fully take their productive and successful place in society are reducing stigma and making help and support available to those who need it.

We are confident and encouraged that by working together we can improve Bill C-14 so that it supports the rights of victims without perpetuating stigma and discrimination against those with mental illness.

Coalition Members:

Canadian Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention

Canadian Association of Social Workers

Canadian Mental Health Association

Canadian Nurses Association

Canadian Psychiatric Association

Canadian Psychological Association

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Mood Disorders Society of Canada

National Network for Mental Health

Psychosocial Rehabilitation Canada

Schizophrenia Society of Canada

For more information, contact: Michael Torres, CAMH Media Relations, 416.595.6015 or media@camh.​

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