Gretzky calls on government to address mental health

A local member of the provincial legislature is urging the Ontario government to take a closer look at its support for mental health initiatives.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky took office Monday in the legislature to address what is perceived as underfunding of mental health as more people access services.

“Mental health organizations cannot keep pace with rising inflation, staffing shortages and increased demand for services,” Gretzky said. “All Ontarians deserve easy access to high-quality, accessible, connected supports when and where they need them. Early Access to support can prevent crisis situations and, for some, death. The Premier must properly address Ontario’s mental health crisis and take this crisis seriously.”

Gretzky cites a 2022 Survey The survey, conducted by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), revealed that 59% of respondents suffered from depression and about 18% had considered suicide. The survey also revealed that children’s mental health needs had doubled.

The 2023 Ontario budget submitted shows $425 million over three years for mental health programs, including a 5 per cent increase in community-based initiatives and anti-drug addiction programs. Still, Gretzky said, that’s not enough to meet demand.

“Why do governors keep reducing public mental health services when life depends on early and consistent access to care?” Gretzky asked. “The Ontario NDP knows people deserve better. We fight every day to build a compassionate Ontario that we are proud to call home.”

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