“Mental health is health,” Mike Schreiner said. “It needs to be a priority.”
The past two years of the pandemic have taken a tremendous toll on Ontarians’ mental health and well-being. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, almost half of Ontarians said their mental health has worsened since the pandemic began, and 1 in 4 Ontarians are now seeking help for their mental health needs.
“Everything is not ok,” Schreiner said.
“The need for a mental health care system that is affordable, accessible, comprehensive, and easy to navigate has never been greater. And that’s exactly what our plan delivers.”
Schreiner’s mental health plan will:
- Significantly expand access to mental health and addiction care under OHIP.
- Increase mental health and addiction spending to 10% of our health budget.
- Develop a 3 digit (e.g. 7-1-1) dedicated crisis response line and health-focused crisis response teams to respond to mental health and substance related calls.
- Reduce waitlists to 30 days or less for children’s mental health services.
- Support Indigenous-led clinics and healing programs for mental health.
- Create a dedicated Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions.
- Decriminalize drug use, expand safe consumption sites, and shift funding from the justice system to healthcare.
- Build 60,000 permanent supportive housing spaces with wrap-around mental health and other supports.
- Enhance mental well-being with connected communities and expanded access to nature trails, parks and protected greenspace.
- Invest in more Youth Wellness Hubs and community centres that offer access to local mental health services, spaces for social interaction, and supports for families.