QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West) rose during Question Period to highlight the harsh reality Ontarians continue to face when seeking mental health services in the province and called for accountability from the Ford government on their decision to not address funding shortfalls.
“Mental health organizations are unable to keep up with rising inflation rates, staffing shortages and increased demand for services,” said Gretzky. “All Ontarians should have easy access to high-quality, easily accessible, connected supports when and where they need it. Early access to supports prevents crisis situations and for some, death. The Premier must properly address the mental health crisis in Ontario and take this crisis seriously.”
In March, the Ford government voted down an NDP motion that called on the government to invest $24 million in community mental health care to meet urgent, growing demand for mental health services. This emergency investment was requested by Canadian Mental Health Association.
A 2022 CAMH survey found that 59 per cent of young Ontarians were experiencing depression, and one in five said they contemplated suicide. The same survey showed that the number of Ontarians seeking mental health support has increased over 50 per cent for adults and over 100 per cent for children.
Gretzky shared the story of a woman who has been waiting for four months to receive trauma counselling through the public health system after being sexually assaulted and nearly being beaten to death.
“My constituent could get treatment in a private clinic immediately – but it would cost her $30,000 per month,” said Gretzky. “Access to mental health supports shouldn’t depend on your ability to pay.”
“Why is the Premier constantly shortchanging public mental health services when lives depend on early and consistent access to care? The Ontario NDP know that people deserve better. We will fight every day to build a compassionate Ontario that we are proud to call home”.