Canadians now have more information about access to mental health and addictions services and to home and community care in their province or territory. Today, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released results for 3 new pan-Canadian indicators:

  • Self-Harm, Including Suicide
  • Caregiver Distress
  • New Long-Term Care Residents Who Potentially Could Have Been Cared for at Home

The data pre-dates the COVID-19 pandemic. While the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health and addictions services and to home and community care is not yet known, CIHI’s data represents a baseline from which progress can be measured over time.

Key findings

Thousands of Canadians a year are hospitalized or die after intentionally harming themselves

  • In 2018, 25,000 Canadians were hospitalized or died after intentionally harming themselves. Hospitalization rates were highest among girls and women age 10 to 24, while death rates were highest among men age 45 and older.

Learn about self-harm, including suicide

1 in 3 unpaid caregivers in Canada are distressed

  • In 2018–2019, 96% of people receiving long-term home care had an unpaid caregiver. More than a third of these caregivers had feelings of distress, anger or depression, and/or were unable to continue in their caring activities.

Learn about caregiver distress

1 in 9 new long-term care residents potentially could have been cared for at home

  • In 2018–2019, more than 5,000 long-term care spaces in reporting provinces and territories were occupied by new residents who potentially could have been cared for at home with the proper supports in place.

Learn about these new long-term care residents

Why these new indicators?

These indicators are part of an agreement known as Shared Health Priorities — a 10-year commitment by governments across Canada to improve access to home and community care and to mental health and addictions services. In June 2018, Canada’s health ministers endorsed 12 indicators that had been recommended by CIHI and federal, provincialReferencei and territorial representatives in consultation with Canadians. Results for the first 3 indicators were released in 2019 and updated in May 2020 — they are available in CIHI’s Your Health System: In Brief web tool.

The endorsement of these indicators marked a significant step toward improving access to services and support in sectors that are important to Canadians. CIHI will work with governments across Canada to report annually on these indicators. Over time, these indicators will begin to tell a clearer story about access to care across the country, identify where there are gaps in services and help to make meaningful changes in order to improve the experiences of Canadian patients and their families.

Learn more about Shared Health Priorities

About CIHI

The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) is an independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing essential health information to all Canadians.

CIHI works closely with federal, provincial and territorial partners and stakeholders throughout Canada to gather, package and disseminate information to inform policy, management, care and research, leading to better and more equitable health outcomes for all Canadians.

Health information has become one of society’s most valuable public goods. For 25 years, CIHI has set the pace on data privacy, security, accessibility and innovation to improve Canada’s health systems.

CIHI: Better data. Better decisions. Healthier Canadians.

Media contact


For English inquiries
Kristen Cockburn

For French inquiries
Corinne Ton That


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The federal government agreed to an asymmetrical arrangement with Quebec, distinct from the Common Statement of Principles.