Mental Health Reform and Policy

The policies and practices of the mental health field are under constant reform, and are affected by developments in related areas such as income assistance and social welfare policies, and housing.

Our research is concerned with examining how structures and policies in the fields of mental health and substance use facilitate or hinder services and supports that address gender and other social inequities.

Priorities for the Mental Health Reform and Policy research team includes undertaking a series of critical GSBA/intersectional analyses of key policies in mental health and substance use at the provincial and federal levels in order to identify how policies can better respond to diverse groups of women and men. The team will also apply a GSBA/intersectional lens to compare mental health and substance use policies in other jurisdictions with a focus on models that are being used and developed in the US, UK, and Australia.

Main Objectives

  • Examine the effects of neoliberal welfare reforms on mental health policy and service delivery;
  • Critically analyze policy discourses in order to understand their effects, including the manner in which people come to be poorly served by systems and services that are ostensibly there to support them;
  • Research the reforms and policies necessary to promote employment and encourage economic self-sufficiency;
  • Identify reforms and policies necessary to create a recovery-oriented service delivery system and encourage the self-determination of people with lived experience