‘There is no recovery without a plan to address the mental health and addiction challenges’
Mental health and addiction prevention organizations in Ontario are calling on the government to reduce wait times for such services.
The groups are launching the new “Everything Is Not OK” campaign to highlight the impacts of COVID-19 on people’s wellbeing.
“We have collaborated on a unanimous call to action to address inequities in access to mental health care and supports for all Ontario citizens, regardless of age, geography, ability to pay or level of support required,” said Catherine Zahn, president and CEO, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
Many Canadians who consume alcohol or cannabis are indulging more during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey.
The groups note that there was already a mental health and addiction crisis in Ontario even before the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis, however, only made things worse because businesses have closed, people lost their jobs, parents are trying to work while taking care of their children, among other challenges.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has put even more stress on people's lives and the healthcare system. There is no recovery without a plan to address the mental health and addiction challenges Ontarians are facing,” said Joanne Bezzubetz, CEO and president, The Royal.
Because of this, the campaign is calling for a mental health and addiction system that is supported by long-term and sustainable investments and provides the following:
- Consistent care for all Ontario residents.
- Faster delivery of support and treatment that people are looking for.
- Easier access to care.
- Transparent delivery of such services.
Previously, Ontario announced it is investing $6.48 million to strengthen mental health and addiction supports for frontline workers, as well as victims, Indigenous families and youth, involved in the justice system.
Ontario also established four new mental health collaborative tables to better support the mental health and well-being of policing, fire, corrections, and paramedic services personnel.