Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

Windsor children being left behind from a dire lack of mental health support

Published on February 29, 2024

QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Lisa Gretzky (Windsor West), Official Opposition critic for Mental Health and Addictions, is calling for urgent action to address a spiralling crisis in children’s mental health access, as Windsor parents turn to Children’s Aid Society (CAS) due to a lack of available support.

“We’ve heard heartbreaking stories of parents in Windsor surrendering their children to the Children’s Aid Society, with no where else to turn for complex mental health support,” said Gretzky. “With no foster families to support their complex needs, kids, some as young as 6 years old, are put in unlicensed placements or hotels. Instead of getting the care they need, they can be at risk of trafficking or being targeted by drug dealers. It feels unreal to even hear about it”.

The problem is becoming more widespread as the Conservatives withhold critical resources from mental health support across the province.

In January, the Executive Director of Children's Aid Society of London & Middlesex said that as of October 2023, London had “six youth in care who were not otherwise in need of protection, but for lack of access to these [mental health] services.

“Kids in our Windsor community are increasingly sent hours out of town in search of more mental health services”, said Gretzky. “Unfortunately, London is facing similar challenges.”

Yesterday, London NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) advocated for mental health support in London, and called for a sustained, multi-year funding for the sector in upcoming 2024 budget.

“We need to get serious about ensuring mental health support is available for everyone,” said Gretzky. “Kids and parents in our community deserve that, because what’s happening right now is unconscionable”.