Ontario’s leading community mental health and addictions agencies have come together to throw their support behind calls on the province for stricter public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Thursday, the Ontario Hospital Association, along with 38 health care leaders and physicians, issued a statement asking for stricter public health measures that will limit escalating transmission of COVID-19. On behalf of the community mental health and addictions sector, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division, and Children’s Mental Health Ontario expressed their support of the OHA’s statement in a letter to the premier Friday morning.
The OHA’s statement called for restrictions on non-essential businesses and activities that facilitate social gatherings and increase opportunities for exposure, and asked the province to request non-essential businesses have employees work from home and instruct universities and colleges to offer classes online, wherever possible.
These calls on the province follow concerning data released by the Public Health Agency of Canada that modelled a second wave that could grow exponentially higher than the first.
Ontario’s mental health and addiction leaders state in their letter they’re critically concerned about the impact COVID-19 has already had on the mental and emotional well-being of Ontarians, as well as the trauma endured by front-line workers or those who have lost loved ones. They note that unless action is taken now to bend the curve of a second wave, agencies won’t be ready to provide the care those impacted would need.