NDP’s Sattler Urges Premier Wynne to Approve London Mental Health Project

Queen’s Park – For the third week, London West NDP MPP Peggy Sattler pressed the Wynne government to help thousands of patients in London, calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to use her authority to approve a London mental health pilot project.

“Two weeks ago, Angela Cameron-Jolly from London West was forced to wait seven days on a hallway stretcher in the mental health ER,” Sattler said. “This weekend, Londoners were appalled to learn the details of Angela’s experience in the pages of the London Free Press, and ashamed of a broken system that treats mental health patients so callously.”

In the legislature, Sattler read from emails sent to her office about the way in which the Wynne government is treating mental health patients in London.

“I received an email that sums up how Londoners are feeling and it reads: ‘I am horrified that this is our reality. To the elected officials, we owe our friends, neighbors and family better than this. We owe Angela, and all the others, so much more. A solution seems possible, in having ambulances able to transfer to the crisis centre. It is worth trying on a temporary basis. Let’s get this done,’” Sattler recounted.

The London West MPP urged the premier to take action. “Does the premier agree that Angela and so many others deserve an apology, and will she approve the pilot project now?”

Sattler and other MPPs met with Ontario medical students who were at Queen’s Park on Monday to lobby MPPs. One of their top two priorities is to reduce wait times for mental health services, but, sadly, Sattler said the premier’s remarks to those medical students were desperately out of touch with what’s happening in London today.

“I commend these students for their advocacy, and I listened closely to the premier as she spoke with them this morning,” Sattler said. “I was struck by the contradiction between what the premier said to the students, and what is happening in London, where her government is refusing to approve an innovative partnership between the hospital, EMS and the mental health and addictions crisis centre, to get non-acute patients much quicker access to service while reducing ER wait times.

“If the premier is serious about reducing mental health wait times, why is she not finding a way to allow our London pilot project to proceed, so we can start helping people now?”