QUEEN'S PARK -- Ontario NDP critic for Mental Health and Addictions Monique Taylor issued the following statement marking Mental Health Week:
"For over a year, the pandemic has placed new psychological and emotional burdens on all Ontarians. Many have faced the devastating loss of loved ones, or the financial pressures of job and income loss.
We’ve all had to change our routines to follow public health measures, and many have faced new fears and anxieties, grappled with social isolation and the loss of our usual social activities. As the pandemic continues, essential workers and caregivers are burning out, and families, parents and children across Ontario are under immense stress.
A reported 40 per cent of Canadians say their mental health has deteriorated since the beginning of this pandemic. We know that addiction and deadly overdoses have skyrocketed across the province.
For this year’s Mental Health Week, the Canadian Mental Health Association is encouraging all of us to recognize and name our feelings, and to reach out for support if needed, whether that’s calling a hotline, talking to a mental health or other health professional or a trusted family member, friend, or mentor.
Experts say the impact of the pandemic on Ontarians’ mental health is significant, and that the need for mental health services will only rise. Ontario needs a government that recognizes the impending surge of demand for mental health services as we recover from this pandemic.
We need a plan for how the government spends its mental health dollars in our communities. The government must ensure we have the mental health services in place to lift people up and help them manage their mental health, including timely access to treatment and support."