The new Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance (the Alliance) launched its provincial election campaign this week with the release of four key recommendations for Ontario’s political parties. The Alliance is a broad-based coalition of ten organizations from across the province and the continuum of care, including hospital and community-based organizations, as well as well consumer and family member organizations. The Alliance’s goal is to make mental health and addictions a provincial election issue.
The group’s four recommendations for Ontario’s political parties include:
- Ensure a comprehensive core basket of mental health and addictions services, equally available to all Ontarians;
- Focus on those at greatest risk, starting with children and youth;
- Ensure individuals with serious mental illness and addictions have access to supportive housing to support their recovery;
- Mobilize leadership to ensure Ontario’s addictions and mental health strategy is effective.
These recommendations respond to regional disparities in access to mental health and addictions supports and services. Examples of these disparities include:
- Per capita expenditures for community mental health that range from $18.54 to $124.78 across provincial regions;
- Wait time is 1,097 days for supportive housing in one jurisdiction, which is almost four times higher than the provincial average of 290 days;
- Average wait time for residential addiction treatment is 41 days, but in the Central East LHIN, it takes five times longer;
- Children and youth in the Hamilton-Niagara region wait up to 283 days for mental health care as opposed to those in southeast Ontario who wait 130 days.
To read the press release and download the full report, please go to www.vote4mha.ca.
For more information, visit the Alliance website at www.vote4mha.ca.