For decades, mental health and addictions services in communities throughout Ontario have been chronically underfunded compared to other parts of the health system. The result: it’s impossible to meet the needs of Ontarians. Wait times are up. Programs have been cut. People are falling through the cracks.
Ontario currently devotes $3.5 billion of a total $54-billion health budget to mental health and addictions. This means that the mental health and addictions share of the health budget is 6.5 per cent. In 1979, it was 11.3 per cent.
But we’re on the cusp of something big. For the first time in a long time, there’s widespread acceptance about the urgent need for quality mental health and addiction services. The federal government is providing an unprecedented amount of money for mental health and addictions services. And with the provincial election coming this spring, Ontario’s three main political parties all believe it’s a key issue.
Thousands of Ontarians have added their name to a petition calling for mental health and addictions care to receive equal funding to physical care. The petition is part of the Erase the
Difference campaign, spearheaded by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division. It’s been launched in the lead up to the June 7th provincial election.
Join us in letting provincial candidates know that it’s time to #erasethedifference and fund mental health and addictions care the same as physical health care. Visit erasethedifference.ca and sign the petition.