From Queen's Park
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With the auditor general’s call on the Ontario Liberals to address shortfalls in children’s mental health, the government should not be wait-listing vulnerable children, says Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker.
MPP Bill Walker
“Yet, wait-listing is exactly what is being planned as the massive health care bureaucracy looks to tame its expected deficit,” says MPP Walker, citing an internal memo from the South West Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).
The leaked memo states that the CCAC is looking at additional wait-listing in services delivered to children and youth through the School Health Support Services, which covers a range of health and mental health services to students across 72 school boards in Ontario.
“The government was just warned about Ontario’s mounting mental health crisis,” he says. “The rational decision would be for this government to turn the corner and make access to mental health care a top priority. Disgracefully, the consideration before them is to turn kids in-need away from assessments and treatments through longer wait-lists, which will ultimately put their lives at risk and lead to a full-blown crisis in Ontario. This is unconscionable!”
The report from the provincial auditor found youth mental-health agencies were swamped with 50 per cent more cases of hospitalization, while youth were waiting up to 18 months for treatment.
“It’s appalling that despite being warned over a decade ago, we have seen no action from this government,” MPP Walker says.
“Children in crisis should not be wait-listed. The longer they wait, the more acute and dangerous the situation becomes for all,” he says.
“Nothing is more shameful than the Liberal Government’s treatment of children who through no fault of their own face mental health challenges,” he says. “We have a responsibility to ensure a brighter future for these children.”
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Thursday, December 29, 2016