The Future of Mental Health (2021)

A Strategic Foresight Study


In this time of profound and ongoing uncertainty, our objective has been to better understand the shifting mental health system in Canada through a collective and creative approach to: anticipate change, identify risks, and outline areas of potential in order to support the mental health and wellbeing of Canadians as we prepare for an undefined future.

Using a strategic foresight approach, we had four main objectives:

1 – Identify and make sense of emerging change. We conducted a horizon scan, cross-sector survey and stakeholder interviews to identify emerging signals and drivers of change across social, technological, environmental, economic, political and value-based domains.
2 – Imagine plausible future scenarios through stakeholder and partner feedback and insights, we identified the most critically important and highly uncertain changes potentially impacting mental health in Canada, and used these to develop four plausible and distinct future scenarios.
3 – Consider implications, risks and opportunities. We held a co-design session with subject matter experts in the mental health space to consider possible implications of each future scenario on mental health services, organizations, and individuals. This helped us identify possible risks and opportunities to better inform recommendations on how we might move forward.
4 – Uncover insights and areas of potential. Through analyzing outcomes of the research and co-design session, we outlined six areas of potential to help the system meet the unfolding challenges, and to better serve the mental health and wellbeing of Canadians in the long-term.

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The Future of Mental Health Report 2021

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