'We can't afford not to do it:' Coalition wants first ministers to make mental health a priority

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has agreed to add health care to the menu at this week’s gathering of first ministers, a concession to the provinces who want Ottawa to pick up a greater share of health-care spending.

The increase in federal health transfers to the provinces will be held to three per cent this year instead of six per cent — a cost-saving measure introduced by the previous Conservative government that the Liberals are keeping as they try to negotiate another health-care accord.

But that’s not the only discussion health professionals want the prime minister and premiers to have around the dinner table Friday. Members of the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health, a coalition of 16 organizations, are urging them to immediately commit more resources to battling mental illness.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with provincial and…

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