The federal government is conducting pre-budget consultations as an opportunity for Canadians to share their ideas and priorities for how the government can make investments to grow the economy. In doing so, they have opened a questionnaire for feedback. Consultations close on February 19th.

We are encouraging participation from our membership and suggest using this platform as a way to advocate for the mental health needs of Canadians.

The questionnaire includes two open-ended questions that we have provided suggested responses for below.

Please feel free to use these suggestions in your own responses and/or adjust them to suit your needs, using your knowledge and expertise of the issues at hand.

If you were designing the federal budget, what would you like to see in it to help create jobs and grow Canada’s economy?

If I were designing the federal budget, I would like to see more support for the 1 in 4 Canadians who experience a mental illness or addictions problem. As the leading cause of disability in Canada, it creates an economic burden of $51 billion annually. In particular, I would like the government to stop taxing psychotherapy services when they are delivered by any regulated professional with the competencies and scope of practice to do so. More specifically, registered/regulated psychotherapists. HST on mental health services is a barrier not only for clients seeking care but also for psychotherapists seeking employment.

When we are able to safely re-open the economy and COVID-19 is under control, what is one idea you have for how the federal government can help you or your community?

The federal government can help my community by following through on their commitment to promoting positive mental health for everyone and removing barriers to mental health care such as the tax psychotherapists have to charge, which makes psychotherapy up to 15% more expensive for those seeking care. What this means in real costs to patients is that the HST for every 8 sessions equals the cost of a next session.
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