MPP Sees Greater Mental Health Need Than Expected

Learning the needs of a Windsor mental health support team has been an eye opener for one local MPP.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky recently spent a morning tagging along with members of the Assertive Community Treatment team — which supports people in the community with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia.

It involves going to where clients live and making sure they're taking their medication and helping them if they need to access other community services.

Gretzky says she travelled with the team to clients' homes.

"That's what we spent a lot of time doing, going from home to home, handing over the medication and making sure they're taking it while we're there," says Gretzky. "The do general welfare checks on people so they make sure overall their health is OK and that their living conditions are OK."

Gretzky says the two local teams support about 200 clients and there is still a waiting list.

"We do have an issue, we are reaching a crisis level when it comes to healthcare and specifically mental health and addictions," says Gretzky. "It's certainly something we're trying to get in place and something we've been advocating for for more funding and more supports, more front-line staff."

The ACT team model is described as a hospital without walls. If it were not available many of their clients would become homeless, drug addicted or end up in a hospital or prison.