March 6, 2018, Queen's Park - Today, Ontario PC Health Critic Jeff Yurek called
on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to address damage done to children
and youth mental health services through years of underfunding.
"Over the past 11 years, access to children and youth mental health services has
increasingly become more and more difficult," said Yurek. "Demand for these important
services has steadily been on the rise while funding has remained stagnant."
The Auditor General has expressed grave concerns with the wait times children and
youth are facing when seeking out mental health services. Unfortunately, the government
has failed to act, resulting in a record numbers of families going directly to hospital
emergency rooms in order to seek treatment.
"This is completely unacceptable," said Yurek. "In London alone, children can expect
to wait 224 days for counselling and therapy services, and 226 days for intensive
treatment services. The families of Ontario deserve better," Yurek continued.
Despite the damage done by this serious lack of funding, both the Liberal government
and NDP have refused to match the $1.9 billion federal transfer for mental health
services. Later today, the Ontario PCs will move a motion calling on the government
to do the right thing and make the largest investment in Canadian provincial history
to help treat and support mental health.