Stop Massive Ontario Mental Health Funding Cuts
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Doug Ford has recently announced PC plans to cut the funding of mental health initiatives by $335 million. This is coming at a time when the demand for mental health services has never been greater. It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians- or over 7 million people- will experience a mental health issue of one kind or another at some point in their lives. Over 12000 children are currently waiting on lists sometimes longer than 18 months to receive the mental healthcare they need. People such as myself who seek to access supports for mental health can wait weeks or months for an intake appointment, and then can only hope to see a counsellor once a month, or a psychiatrist once every 6-8 weeks. The care that we receive for mental health in this country is not enough.
People who are actively suicidal or self-harming are turned away from hospitals without admittance because of a lack of beds. Both myself and friends of mine have experienced this. In order to see a psychologist and receive CBT or DBT treatment on a semi-regular basis, you can expect to pay upwards of $150 an hour. Mental health care that only a small percentage of the population can afford is not accessible mental health care.
With plans such as this, services in bad need of both restructuring and more funding will be reduced or scrapped entirely. Vulnerable people will suffer, and people will die. In 2009 alone, approximately 4000 suicides were reported in Canada, with 90% or more of people who die by suicide having experienced a mental illness. This death is preventable with more accessible, regular treatment and a reduction of mental health stigma. Join me in fighting for this worthy cause by signing this petition.
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