QUEEN’S PARK — Mike Schreiner released the following statement after the Ford government re-announced funding for mental health:
“This announcement is nothing but window dressing and represents nothing new for people struggling with mental illness or addiction, whose challenges have been worsened by COVID-19.
We need innovative action and new funding to help people access mental health services and deal with the new barriers put up by the pandemic.
I am disappointed that the Premier refuses to expand access to safer drug supplies even as the overdose crisis gets worse and more people die.
Drug-related deaths have increased by 35% during the pandemic and the government could save lives if they listened to drug policy experts and provided safe alternatives to deadly street fentanyl.
With depression, anxiety and loneliness on the rise, there is so much more the government could be doing to connect people with counselling and therapy.
Let’s start by removing HST charges from a visit to the counsellor and investing more in mental health responses to people who are in distress.”