CMHA urges province to prioritize mental health sector in next budget

Mental Health

The Canadian Mental Health Association is urging Ontario to prioritize the sector in its upcoming budget.

The request comes as a new poll suggests the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has eroded residents' already fragile emotional well-being.

It's the third round of polling from the association's Ontario branch, and it suggests only 35 per cent of Ontarians consider their mental health to be "very good'' or "excellent.''

That's compared to 52 per cent in the first round of polling last May towards the end of the pandemic's first wave.

It also shows nearly 80 per cent of respondents believe there will be a "serious mental health crisis'' post-pandemic, compared to 66 per cent in August and 69 per cent in May.

The CEO of CMHA Ontario says the trend is worrying.

She says service providers are scrambling to figure out how to deal with an increase in demand.

The province is set to release its budget on March 24th.

It says it's already  invested "up to 194-million-dollars in emergency funding for mental health and addictions services'' in response to the pandemic.