Supporting mental health, addiction workers strengthens care for all Ontarians

With the provincial election two days away, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services is encouraging voters to cast their ballot for the party that will most support the mental health and addiction care needs of all Ontarians.

CMHA commends all the parties for making mental health and addiction care a prominent issue on the campaign trail. They’ve all promised to do more to help Ontarians who are struggling.

But these promises will be hollow if there is no workforce to deliver the services.

The community mental health and addiction sector needs a government that will support a strong, vibrant and energized workforce.

At CMHA branches throughout Ontario, more than 4,500 dedicated employees work tirelessly to ensure Ontarians get the care they need. However, the strain of the pandemic and increased demand for service from the public has taken a toll.

Just like nurses, personal support workers and others hard hit by the pandemic, CMHA staff across Ontario are experiencing emotional exhaustion, burnout and fatigue.

The impact on Ontarians will be severe: without enough staff, wait times will only grow longer and services will be less available.

“Aside from providing quality care, staff recruitment and retention is currently the significant issue for us,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO, CMHA Ontario. “We need a dedicated workforce to ensure that all Ontarians who need mental health and addiction support will receive it.”

CMHA Thames Valley Addiction and Mental Health Services urges the public to vote for the party that will implement a plan to attract and retain mental health and addictions workers so that everyone in the province can get the best care when and where they need it.

For more information about the “I choose” campaign, visit www.ichoosemha.ca or follow #ichoosemha on social media.

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