November 2, 2017
QUEEN’S PARK – NDP Education critic Peggy Sattler says years of neglect by the Wynne Liberals have left post-secondary students and institutions struggling to cope with rising rates of student mental health crises and inadequate resources.
“Over the last five years, the number of college and university students with identified mental health issues has more than doubled at Ontario campuses,” said Sattler during question period.
“This morning a panel of young people shared their experiences with the lack of services for campus mental health. They talked about escalating rates of student suicide and a chronic shortage of counsellors. They talked about being referred to community mental health services and waiting eight months or more for an appointment.”
In response to the growing problem, the College Student Alliance, the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, Colleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities released an unprecedented joint report outlining 26 recommendations to address the crisis in campus mental health. The report authors call on the Wynne Liberals to implement a ‘whole community’ approach to the mental health needs of students.
“The actions that have been taken by this government to address campus mental health have clearly been ineffective in addressing student mental health needs,” said Sattler, regarding the urgency of the report.
“Will this government commit today to doing the right thing and implementing these crucial recommendations immediately?” asked Sattler.
“Lives are at stake and urgent action is needed now. When can Ontario students expect to see these changes made and all of the recommendations from this report put into place?”