A Review of Mental Health Care in Canada: Towards a System-Wide Change in Perception and Treatment
The main purpose of this critical research paper was to reflect on a few major issues that exist within the treatment of individuals within the mental health system in Canada today, and to provide recommendations for future research, policy and community development. The main themes that were generated during the literature review included issues related to diagnostic inflation, over-medicalization, the importance of good nutrition, socio-economic status and income inequality, and food insecurity. Through an exhaustive review and critical analysis of the literature using the feminist based standpoint theory, it was determined that mental health diagnosis is on the rise in Canada, and reliance upon the medical model as the primary treatment approach is also increasing. The concerns associated with this increase are exposed in the paper. The paper will discuss the importance of changing the focus to complementary and alternative treatment approaches to treating mental health, such as with nutrition, and the predicted outcome of this change. It was also determined that in order for such a change to occur, there would need to be a shift in the cultural perception of disability and mental health. As such, community providers may consider utilizing a critical approach in their practice and delivery of service, called critical community practice, derived from the field of social work and disability studies.