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Tragedy in Belleville illustrates need for better mental healthcare strategy

February 9, 2024

KITCHENER — Ontario Greens deputy leader Aislinn Clancy released the following statement in response to news that Belleville has declared a state of emergency following a surge in overdoses over the past week.

“What’s happening in Belleville is a tragedy, and unfortunately it’s part of a widespread public health emergency that’s been devastating our communities for a long time.

Ontario needs an all-hands-on-deck approach to tackling this escalating crisis. Right now, our communities are grasping at straws.

Greens call on the Ford government to work with its federal and municipal counterparts to develop and fund a comprehensive mental healthcare and addictions strategy.

That means:

  • Including mental healthcare and addictions care under OHIP;
  • Decriminalizing drug use and expanding access to safe supply and Consumption and Treatment Services sites;
  • Investing in accessible and robust mental health and addictions services by increasing community mental health sector base budgets; and
  • Investing in permanent supportive housing builds with wrap-around mental health supports.”