|Abstract: ||Depression is a significant individual, social and economic burden in Canada as well as across the world. Although evidence based treatment exists to alleviate the negative effects of the disease, between 25-30% Canadians who recognize that they are suffering from depression fail to seek treatment for their disorder. Unfortunately, both the federal and provincial governments have failed to increase treatment seeking, as the federal government has remained largely absent from the conversation and provincial health ministries have focused mainly on making structural and service delivery reforms within their jurisdictions. However, many in the mental health community have suggested that poor treatment seeking rate, are the result of not only structural and access barriers but also individual barriers which include the ability to recognize and accept depression in one’s self as well as others and removing personal and public stigma of the disease.
Over the past three decades the governments of Australia have come together to create an evidence-based mental health policy, focused on depression and the concept of mental health literacy. Mental health literacy is policy tool employed create depression awareness and depression recognition as a means of addressing the individual barriers which hinder treatment seeking behaviour. This paper offers a comparative analysis the policies and programs in Canada and those that were implemented in Australia in order to evaluate whether Canadian decision makers can learn anything from the Australian experience and whether policy transfer is plausible.|