The Canadian mental health landscape is changing fast. The rapidly accelerating pace of research and innovation over the last few decades has finally led to a comprehensive, system-wide review of the most common mental health problem: depression.
In October, a group of the country's top mental health experts, led by Canadian Mental Health Commission chair Michael Kirby, convened in Calgary to discuss depression. The result of the conference was an unprecedented (PDF) from some of Canada's most influential policymakers, psychiatrists, family physicians and patients. The statement's recommendations on ways to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of depression run the gamut from amendments to the Income Tax Act that would allow caregivers to write off expenses to the adoption by family physicians of a "stepped care" approach to treating cases of depression along a scale of severity, and lots more.
The scientific chair of the consensus conference, Dr Scott Patten (pictured left), a psychiatric epidemiologist at the University of Calgary, talked to Parkhurst Exchange about the latest research on depression, new thinking on effective clinical practices, and Britney Spears' breakdown.
To read my interview with Dr Patten in Parkhurst Exchange, .