MPP Dufferin-Caledon

News Release – Jones Calls on Minister of Health to Address Out of Control Youth Mental Health Wait Times



(Queen’s Park) – Today, Sylvia Jones MPP Dufferin-Caledon urged the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to address the high wait times for children and youth mental health counselling and therapy services.

“According to a November 2016 Children’s Mental Health Ontario report, in Toronto, the average wait time is 208 days for counselling and therapy. In Barrie, the wait time is 354 days. In Ottawa, children wait 575 days for Mental Health services. These wait times are unacceptable,” Jones said.

“On Monday, we learned from the Canadian Institute for Health Information that in the last 10 years there has been a 60% increase of hospitalization and Emergency Department visits of children and youth due to mental health disorders,” Jones said.

Instead of addressing these unacceptable wait times, the Minister of Health has suggested that free drugs are the solution to the growing youth mental health crisis saying, “This is precisely why OHIP+ is so important. We know that 70% of mental illness emerges during childhood. For the first time in this province, those children and those youth are going to have free access to the medicines that they need to deal with their mental illness.”

“This problem cannot be fixed by a pill. Children are waiting for a year and a half for service. The Minister must ensure timely access to counselling and therapy service for our children,” Jones said.




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