Province and local MPP at odds over new mental health plan
The Ontario government announced a mental health plan today that aims to reduce wait times, improve access, and make it more affordable.
The "mindability" program is being launched now and will expand in the fall.
It aims to connect people suffering from depression and anxiety with the level of care they need, all covered under OHIP.
The Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence has also been created to standardize and monitor services across the province.
Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates criticized the announcement saying it fails to include any new funding for the crisis facing Niagara.
“People in Niagara are dying. We lose one Niagaran to suicide every seven days. Over 70 percent of calls to first responders in the region are related to a mental health crisis. Preventative care and supports to family members helping their loved ones are already inadequate. Even worse, after 9 o’clock at night, there’s almost nowhere for people to go who are in crisis, except our already overstretched hospital.
Health Minister Christine Elliot disagreed with Gates.
"What we are trying to do is bring forward a comprehensive system that's going to benefit everyone in Ontario, and I know there a particular concern in Niagara, which we will be addressing."
Elliot failed to go into any details about how the government plans to address those concerns.