IAM Awarded $150,000 Grant to
Address Mental Health Crisis in Canada

IAM Awarded $150,000 Grant to Address Mental Health Crisis in Canada

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the mental health landscape in Canada as we know it. According to a report released by the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide all the while the demand for mental health increased. The report illustrated the need for urgent funding to support national and international mental health programs that have already suffered from years of chronic underfunding.

In Canada, the pandemic's impact on mental health has become glaringly evident, with a March 2022 survey by Angus Reid showing that 54% of Canadians reported a worsening of their mental health two years after the pandemic's onset. Additionally, research by the Canadian Mental Health Association and the University of British Columbia highlights the growing mental health crisis across the country.

For those impacted by psychosis, the impact of the pandemic has been far worse. The complexities of the illness have only worsened through prescribed isolation and disruption to routine, leading to a significant impact on available supports and recovery aids.
In light of this challenging landscape, IAM has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation to address mental health concerns in Canada.

The Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation was created to raise awareness and understanding of the issue of family caregiving in Canada and inspire Canadians to help. They work to raise funds that can be used to enable and amplify the work of charitable organizations in Canada that currently support family caregivers. As a thought leader, they convene and collaborate with others in the sector to create innovative programs, resources and tools.

Our comprehensive research project will engage provincial partners and service providers across the country to understand where caregivers can find support as well as identify areas where gaps have widened. Through our partnerships, we aim to generate insights and data that will highlight what support services are available to caregivers in each province, and consolidate these findings to create a service navigation tool and map for caregivers. We will also create and engage a caregiver advisory group throughout the process to ensure we are validating our progress.

Our project will shed light on the ways in which the pandemic has impacted the service landscape – where older supports might have disappeared and newer supports have emerged. We aim to develop recommendations for ongoing systemic collaboration, solution development as well as the creation of a report and caregiver-focused resources.

IAM's project also recognizes the critical aspect of knowledge dissemination. We intend to share our report and findings with caregivers and other partner service providers in complex mental illnesses and psychosis. This will include designing engagement frameworks, such as webinars and virtual showcases, ensuring that caregivers have access to up-to-date information on the current mental health landscape.

The mental health crisis in Canada is complex, and efforts from organizations like IAM are essential to improving access to mental health resources and services. We are thankful for the Petro-Canada CareMakers Foundation's support and look forward to outlining recommendations and solutions for caregivers in Canada struggling to access vital resources during this pandemic.