Today, Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, issued the following statement on Bell Let’s Talk Day:
“Today on Bell Let’s Talk Day, Ontario is joining the conversation around mental health to raise awareness and encourage everyone to take action to fight the stigma associated with mental health challenges.
This week, Ontario marks one year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19. People of all ages have since felt the impacts of the virus not only on their physical health but also their mental health. Mental health challenges can affect anyone, our family members, friends, and co-workers.
We encourage all Ontarians to reach out to those who may be struggling. Whether you call your parents or your grandparents, or simply make a post on social media using the hashtag #BellLetsTalk – every action counts. By letting others know you care, you’re making the first important step in helping someone get the help and treatment they might need. Showing our love and support can make a huge difference. In some cases, it may even save a life.
As we continue the fight against COVID-19, supporting those with mental health challenges continues to be a top priority for our government. That’s why we developed a comprehensive plan, Roadmap to Wellness, to build a fully connected mental health and addictions system across the province. To support the plan, we provided $176 million in annual funding for mental health care and $194 million in one-time emergency mental health and addictions funding in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our investments immediately expanded existing services and created new mental health supports, such as virtual tools and counselling. To date, provincial virtual supports have helped over 55,000 Ontarians access the care they need, with many more supported locally. Our focus will always be on finding more ways to support the specific mental health needs of all Ontarians, including children and youth, those suffering from an addiction or in need of supportive housing, and Indigenous peoples living in both remote and urban centres across the province.
Today on Bell Let’s Talk Day, we encourage everyone to get involved, speak out and help break the stigma around mental health. Together, let’s continue to build a province where everyone can be fully supported on their journey to mental wellness.”
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