Canadians Need Access to Mental Health Services: Cara Vaccarino Talks to iHeart Radio

iHeart Radio News Talk 1010 interviewed Cara Vaccarino, EHN Canada COO, about Canada’s public healthcare system and current issues with accessibility to mental health services. The conversation explored several complex issues that plague Canada’s public healthcare system. Cara gave her opinions on evidence-based care, speaking out about mental health conditions, waste in the public system, and treating concurrent disorders. 

According to Cara, some of the biggest problems with current mental health services in Canada include lack of accessibility, long wait times, sourcing appropriate treatment, and stigma. Money is not the answer, Cara explains, as unnecessary spending and waste afflict the public system; investing additional money into a faulty system will not solve these problems. 

Waste in Canada’s public healthcare system also prevents individuals from accessing treatment for mental health disorders. To eliminate wasteful spending, Cara stresses the importance of standardization. Standard practices for evidence-based care would create accountability in the mental health care industry. Cara argues that this strategy is essential to ensure individuals with mental health disorders get consistent, high-quality treatment that improves outcomes and eliminates waste. In addition to a lack of standardized care, excessive spending on marketing and administration by public hospitals funnels money away from patient care advances. As a solution, Cara urges the government to limit spending within the public system on marketing and administration.  

Cara believes that Canadians are slowly de-stigmatizing mental health disorders. Anti-stigma campaigns, increased education in schools and workplaces, resource accessibility, and an open dialogue in public forums encourage people to speak out about mental health disorders. 

In the wake of Canada’s opioid crisis, Cara commends the government for seeking justice from pharmaceutical companies through recent lawsuits, but she stresses the work does not end there! Canadians require better access to comprehensive, evidence-based treatment programs that incorporate behavioural and psychological interventions alongside medication-assisted therapies. Improved access to these programs ensures people get the help needed to achieve successful long-term recovery.

To learn more about the state of mental health care access in Canada, listen to the full interview on the iHeart Radio website.