Gates pushes for action saying 1 person dies by suicide every 8 days in Niagara

Niagara Falls' NDP MPP is putting forward a motion to increase mental health funding in Niagara.

Speaking to CKTB's Lee Sterry, Wayne Gates says mental health has been highlighted in Niagara lately, with the recent suicides on the Burgoyne Bride.

Gates says he asked the various agencies what they needed to help, and they agreed they need more funding so that they can set up three 24/7 drop-in crisis centres: one in St. Catharines, one in Niagara Falls, and one in Welland.

Right now, Gates says the existing services in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines stop at 9pm, and there's no where for people to go after that.

The $2.5 million a year he's asking for would extend the hours of existing services, and would create an around-the-clock Welland location.

Gates says they would also provide resources for family members who are under stress while caring for someone struggling with mental health and addictions issues.

He adds that one of the issues is transportation for people in Fort Erie and Niagara On The Lake to mental health services, and the funding they're asking for would cover that.

Gates says 1 person dies by suicide every 8 days in Niagara.

The motion will be debated tomorrow.

To hear the full interview, click here.