Late last year the Vector Poll asked Canadians about whether they supported a 5-cents a drink tax to fund mental health programs.
This is an idea that has floated around for a while. In 2007 Senator Michael Kirby suggested a five cent tax on booze would raise $500 million a year that could help revamp Canada’s woeful mental health services.
To put that in perspective, the provincial initiative to improve mental health services for children and youth is spending about $70 million per year.
The Vector Poll has shown that of all health services, Canadians have the least faith in the present mental health system. If there is anything close to consensus, it is on the necessity for new investment in these services.
The connection between mental health, addictions and alcohol is about as clear as it gets.