Cap wait times for children and youth mental health services

Report shows young people waiting longer as Ford lets NDP bill languish

QUEEN’S PARK – Bhutila Karpoche, Ontario NDP critic for Mental Health and Addictions, released the following statement in response to a new report from Children’s Mental Health Ontario that shows waitlists for children and youth to access mental health and addictions services have more than doubled over the last two years:

“It’s shameful that over 28,000 children and youth in this province continue to wait for life-saving mental health and addictions services when research shows early intervention gives young people a better chance at a healthy life. Children and youth are waiting up to two and half years for the services they desperately need. 

The Liberals underfunded children and youth mental health and addictions services for years, resulting in ballooning wait times, and now they’ve reached an all-time high under Doug Ford’s watch. For some children and youth, the services they need do not exist at all in their communities.

Young people deserve to be able to access the services they need when and where they need it.

My bill, the Right to Timely Mental Health and Addiction Care for Children and Youth Act, proposes to speed up access to mental health and addictions services for people aged 26 and younger by capping wait times at 30 days. However, the government has left the bill to languish at committee since it passed second reading a year ago.

 It’s time the Ford government takes the crisis in children and youth mental health care seriously and invests in services. The government can start addressing the crisis by passing my bill without delay.”

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