May 15, 2006

The Honourable Michael J. L. Kirby
The Senate of Canada
Parliament Buildings
Ottawa K1A 0A4

Re: Final Report of The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology
“Out of the Shadows at Last – Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada”

Dear Senator Kirby,

On behalf of the National Network for Mental Health (NNMH) and the Canadian Coalition of Alternative Mental Health Resources (CCAMHR), please accept our overwhelming gratitude for the work of your Committee and the recognition paid to the needs of our community.

We, consumers of mental health systems and supports in Canada, applaud the Federal Leadership you, as Chair of The Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, have shown in terms of mapping a transparent future reflective of the needs of Canadians living with mental illness and addiction issues.

For years we have recognized the isolation in which consumer/survivors live, and in which consumer driven organizations work. Stigma pervades every element of our lives and ultimately our being. “Out of the Shadows at Last” truly reflects our human state, and the needs of our community in a very dignified manner and it is with true appreciation and sincerity that we applaud the work of the many who have worked so diligently to bring this outstanding report to fruition.

Our constituency is affected by every recommendation, and we feel very strongly that the leadership that comes out of this report is second to none. We also feel that this report is the best that we have witnessed thus far. If all of these recommendations come to fruition pass we will have improved the quality of life of all Canadians and there is the possibility that eventually the shame and guilt of living with a mental illness or addiction will become a thing of the past.

We, as Canadians have an opportunity within these recommendations to become the world leaders best in the world in terms of our treatment and support to mental health and addictions consumers, a legacy to which you and your peers should be very proud.


Constance McKnight
National Executive Director, National Network for Mental Health
Secretariat, Canadian Coalition of Alternative Mental Health Resources




















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