FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020
TORONTO, ON – Today Mitzie Hunter, MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood and Finance Critic for the Ontario Liberal Party, is calling on the government to address the doubling of the waitlist for child & youth mental health services and keep their commitment to match federal investments in mental health and addictions in the upcoming budget. Child and youth mental health care policy experts and service providers joined her to share the latest wait time data and share their frontline experience.
In the past two years, the waitlist for community child and youth mental health services has doubled according to a new Children’s Mental Health Ontario report. Despite campaigning on matching federal investments in mental health and addiction funding, government investment has not kept pace with increasing demand for services.
As a result, Ontarians have seen a rise in costly, preventable hospital visits for mental health and addiction treatment. The system is in crisis, and kids cannot wait for the help that they need. In the past 10 months alone, 5 students at the University of Ottawa have died by suicide.
MPP Hunter calls on the Premier to keep his promise and invest funds to improve accessibility of mental health services and supports.
“While this government is happy to look for savings on the backs of our children and youth, there is a human cost to this government’s inaction. The Premier needs to keep his promise so that children and youth can access the services that they need, when they need them.”
– Mitzie Hunter, MPP Scarborough-Guildwood
“When children wait too long for treatment, the impact on their lives, their families and communities is profound. Right now there are 28,000 kids on wait lists for community child and youth mental health care. Some families are waiting as long as two and a half years. Investments are urgently needed to expand front-line community child and youth mental health services and reduce wait times to 30 days or less.”
– Kim Moran, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario