On Sunday, May 26, 2019, I will be joining fellow mental health advocates, charities, organizations, and everyday Ontarians in a peaceful March for Mental Health in Toronto, and I invite you to walk with us.
The right to mental health care is a non-partisan issue. Members of all political parties should consider the well-being and health of Canadians a priority. As a private citizen, I am urging you to make Mental Health a priority in Ontario, and across Canada. The delays in accessing timely and effective treatment due to a lack of resources and funding has become the norm in our country, and it is a contributing factor to further mental anguish, prolonged recovery, and tragically, early death.
Mental health and addictions services in Ontario and Canada remain chronically underfunded compared to other parts of the health system. The result: the mental health and addictions system is crumbling. It’s impossible to meet the needs of Canadians. Wait times are up. Programs have been cut. People are falling through the cracks. Lives are being lost.
The disease burden of mental illness and addiction in Ontario is 1.5 times higher than all cancers put together and more than 7 times that of all infectious diseases, yet mental illness receives just 7% of health care dollars. Relative to this burden, mental health care in Ontario is underfunded by about $1.5 billion. The Mental Health Strategy for Canada recommends raising the proportion of health spending that is devoted to mental health to 9% by 2022.
Please join me and show your support by attending our 3rd annual March for Mental Health at 12pm, on Sunday, May 26, 2019, downtown Toronto at Queen’s Park.
You can find more details at www.v4mhc.com.