National Mental Health Strategy: Some Facts About The Cost Of Mental Illness To Canadians

A new national mental health strategy for Canada will be released this week. Here's a look at the mental health issue by the numbers:

(Text version below the slideshow)

The Toll Of Mental Illness In Canada

— In any given year, one in five people in Canada has a mental health problem or illness.

— Of the 6.7 million people who have a mental health problem, about one million are children and teenagers between nine and 19 years old.

— Mental health problems cost at least $50 billion a year, or 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product, not including the costs to the criminal justice system or the child welfare system.

— In 2011, about $42.3 billion was spent in Canada on treatment, care and support for people with mental health problems.

— Mental health problems account for about 30 per cent of short- and long-term disability claims.

— If just a small percentage of mental health problems in children could be prevented, the savings would be in the billions.

Source: Backgrounder documents for the Mental Health Commission of Canada