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Liberals cannot ignore growing number of Ontarians with poor mental health, says NDP’s Gélinas

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Published on June 23, 2015 with No Comments

NICKEL BELT – A sharp increase in the number of Ontarians reporting poor mental health is a warning sign that can no longer be ignored by the Liberal government, said NDP Health Critic France Gélinas.

“The growth in the number of Ontarians with poor mental health is deeply concerning to me and should be a wake-up call to this Liberal government,” said Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, following the release of new data from Statistics Canada showing a significant increase in the number of Ontarians reporting poor or fair mental health. “Life hasn’t gotten easier for Ontarians under this Liberal government. Middle class and struggling families are worried about paying the bills and making ends meet. It’s taking a serious toll on the mental health of Ontarians.”

According to Statistics Canada’s Community Health Survey for 2014, released last week, the number of Ontarians reporting perceived poor or fair mental health has grown by 73 percent since 2003. An estimated 840,000 Ontarians now perceive their mental health as fair or poor. The increases vary in different regions, with the London region recording a staggering 132 percent increase in the number of residents with poor or fair mental health. Ontario’s population grew by only 12 percent from 2003 to 2014.

“When families need access to crucial supports, Ontario’s fragmented mental health services just aren’t meeting their needs. Too many people continue to fall through the cracks in our mental health system, despite the best efforts of our dedicated frontline health care professionals,” said Gélinas.

“For five years, the Liberals have ignored recommendations from an all-party Committee of MPPs that could have improved Ontario’s mental health services. And now Liberal cuts to health care will only make it harder for Ontarians to access the services they need,” said Gélinas. “The time is long overdue for this Liberal government to tackle Ontario’s mental health crisis and reverse this worrisome trend.”

Media Backgrounder

The Canadian Community Health Survey, 2014 is a cross-sectional survey that collects information related to health status, health care utilization and health determinants for the Canadian population. It relies upon a large sample of respondents and is designed to provide reliable estimates at the health region level.

Geography Indicators 2003 2014 Difference Change from 2003 to 2014
Ontario Perceived mental health, very good or excellent 7,268,903 8,055,649 786,746 11%
Ontario Perceived mental health, fair or poor 486,643 840,593 353,950 73%
Middlesex-London Perceived mental health, very good or excellent 258,588 257,740 (848) 0%
Middlesex-London Perceived mental health, fair or poor 15,119 35,100 19,981 132%
Sudbury and District Perceived mental health, very good or excellent 120,001 110,978 (9,023) -8%
Sudbury and District Perceived mental health, fair or poor 7,498 13,105 5,607 75%
City of Toronto Perceived mental health, very good or excellent 1,563,463 1,673,259 109,796 7%
City of Toronto Perceived mental health, fair or poor 108,927 174,381 65,454 60%
CANSIM Table: 105-0501

 

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