Children's Mental Health Ontario (CMHO), is pleased that the Ontario NDP election platform, released on April 16, 2018, makes mental health care and addictions a priority and includes specific attention to improving child and youth mental health and addictions care with an increased investment of $590 million over five years to cut wait times down to 30 days. With the inclusion in their platform of commitments such as increased mental health supports in high schools and the hiring of more mental health care workers, the Ontario New Democrats directly mention and are responding to policies and funding requirements that CMHO has requested to all political parties in the province. The suggestion of introducing a provincial Ministry dedicated to addressing mental health and addictions care also illustrates the understanding of the New Democrats of the importance of addressing and improving the mental health of all Ontarians.

“I am thrilled to see that the NDP platform tackles the child and youth mental health care crisis in this province and is immediately prepared to reduce wait times for children and youth seeking sometimes life-saving mental health care treatment,” said Kim Moran, CEO Children’s Mental Health Ontario. “NDP leader Andrea Horwath and MPP Monique Taylor have clearly heard our urgent recommendations and the cries of families across Ontario to help the thousands of kids on wait lists and understand that investing in community-based mental health care is a wise investment that will save and improve lives now and for years to come.”

We are also pleased that the NDP has publicly released its policy and funding commitments now. The historic investment in community-based child and youth mental health announced last month by Premiere Wynne also showed that the Liberal Party of Ontario is working to end the child and youth mental health care crisis. We hope that the PC Party of Ontario will release its revised platform soon and also include an increase in annual mental health care funding for children and youth, as had been pledged in their previous platform, and that this will allow for debate around areas of crisis in our health care system.

To read more about CMHO’s plan to address the current child and youth mental health care crisis in Ontario and to join us in asking all party leaders to act so that kids no longer have to wait, visit our website at cmho.org.