New Democrats commit to creating a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017

New Democrats commit to creating a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

QUEEN’S PARK – Today, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and NDP Health Critic France Gélinas announced legislation to create a ministry devoted to mental health and addictions in Ontario. 

“Everyone who needs access to mental health or addiction services should be able to get them, when they need them,” said Horwath. “But that’s simply not happening in Ontario today. Too many people requiring urgent addiction treatment are left languishing on waiting lists. And too many people desperate for mental health care are being let down by the Wynne government – which treats mental health and addictions as an afterthought, left to fight for funding in an already-underfunded health care system.” 

“Mental health and addictions services need more resources, more funding and more attention. I believe that having a Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions will help us get there.”

Horwath and Gélinas were joined at a press conference by Noah Irvine, a high school student from Guelph who lost both his parents to mental illness.

“I hope all parties will show support for this bill. We need to make mental health and addictions a real priority,” said Irvine. Seven years ago, the all-party select committee made important recommendations, but almost nothing has been done. We can’t wait any longer for action to improve mental health and addictions services.”

In 2010, the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions issued 23 recommendations to improve mental health and addictions services, including the creation of Mental Health and Addictions Ontario.

“Seven years later Ontario still does not have a Mental Health and Addictions system,” said Gélinas. “Ontario’s mental health and addictions services are scattered across 11 different Ministries. Depending on who you are and where you live the services that are available to you vary greatly. It’s time to give mental health and addictions a home, and the focus and attention it needs for us to start delivering care families can count on.”