Northern Ontario mental health crisis showcased at Sudbury committee hearing

Jan 16, 2018 @ 14:02

This morning, at a pre-budget committee hearing in Sudbury, Ontario’s growing mental health crisis was highlighted by a couple of presenters who urged the government to take immediate action.

The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs heard from the Sudbury/Manitoulin branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Child and Family Centre. Both of these presentations highlighted funding gaps and the need for increased funding and supports.

“Ontario’s mental health crisis is our province’s dirty little secret,” said Ontario PC Finance Critic Vic Fedeli. “There are far too many stories – especially in Northern Ontario – about families who have had the courage to come forward, to seek treatment, only to be turned away because the supports and resources aren’t there.”

The Ontario PC Party has promised to invest an additional $1.9 billion in mental health services over the next decade, the largest provincial investment in our country’s history. This matches the commitment made by the federal government, which will bring the total Ontario commitment to $3.8 billion over the next decade.

In 1979, 11 per cent of Ontario’s health care budget was spent on mental health. Today, the province spends only 6.7 per cent.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health. It’s time the Ontario government started treating it that way,” added Ontario PC MPP Sam Oosterhoff. “Unfortunately, under the Wynne Liberals we’ve seen cuts to important services that Ontario families depend on.”

“The Ontario PCs aren’t going to settle for this mental health crisis as a norm. No Ontario family should be left waiting for needed care,” concluded Ontario PC House Leader Jim Wilson. “It’s time for a government that shows leadership on this important file.”