HAMILTON — Monique Taylor, MPP for Hamilton Mountain, has written to Sylvia Jones, the Minister of Health, requesting immediate action for children's mental health treatment programming in Hamilton and across Ontario. Hamilton Public Health reported a significant increase in self-harm from 2009 to 2020 for kids age 4 to 18.
Read the full text of the letter below:
Hon. Sylvia Jones
Ministry of Health
5775 Yonge Street - 16th Floor
Toronto Ontario M7A 2E5
January 30th, 2023
Dear Minister Jones,
I am writing you today to call your attention to an urgent matter happening in my community of Hamilton and across this province.
We are seeing an uptake of children being admitted to emergency rooms across Ontario for different mental health crises, with healthcare professionals noting a particular spike in self harm and eating disorders. The number of children seeking mental health support is increasing at an alarming rate, and they need immediate support.
A report released earlier this month detailed the severity of the situation in Hamilton. Hamilton’s emergency rooms are seeing nearly 4 children a week for self harm. Hamilton Public Health reported a significant increase in self-harm from 2009 to 2020 for kids age 4 to 18. The COVID19 pandemic has further exacerbated the issues facing our healthcare system, and there needs to be a focus on hiring an retaining the healthcare professionals who provide these crucial services. Children who engage in self harm need access to proper supports and treatment in a timely manner, and the Ministry of Health needs to prioritize this.
I am asking you to support investment into Hamilton’s mental health treatment programming so children can receive the treatment and care they need, when they need it. Hamilton Public Health has made child and youth healthy growth and development one of their four key priorities for 2023, and the Ministry of Health could greatly support their work by providing the necessary investments into our local healthcare system. I am also asking for you to support our children seeking mental health treatment across Ontario by investing in the healthcare system and building human resource capacity.
The health and wellbeing of our children is critical, as they are our future.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
MPP, Hamilton Mountain