With proof of the Health Card, every citizen of Canada has access to Canada’s Universal Health Care System. This allows free access to emergency services and family physician visits with additional fees occurring depending on the treatment, injury or type of services necessary. Unfortunately, the publicly funded health care does not apply to any mental health services individuals may be in desperate need of accessing.
There are an incredible amount of barriers faced by individuals when attempting to receive mental health care. These barriers can be categorized as biological, societal and institutional. This system map explores the challenges individuals face in the health care system, resulting in accessible mental health services being out of reach for the majority of Canadians.
For example, an individual may recognize mental health concerns within themselves that need support, but when they attempt to move forward in hopes of getting this support, they are faced with extremely high prices of therapy, physicians lacking specialized knowledge on mental health treatment, and limited access to care. The reality is, the Canadian Health Care System does not apply the term “free” to the mental health of Canadian citizens.