Ontario Liberals Continue To Drop The Ball On Mental Health Services

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara-West Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Posted March 7th, 2018 on Niagara At Large  

Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff

Queen’s Park, Toronto  – This March 6th, Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara-West Glanbrook called on the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care to assume responsibility for yet another crisis situation in his riding. 

Oosterhoff explained how he recently went on a ride-along with members of the Niagara Regional Police Service. After having received a Mental Health Apprehension call, the officers shared stories of the harm caused by the government’s failure to invest in preventative mental health issues. 

“Most calls these officers receive are to deal with people who are having a mental health crisis, people who could have been helped by earlier intervention,” declared Oosterhoff in the Legislature.

“Will the Minister commit today to matching the federal transfer for mental health, to help my constituents and to enable the officers in my community to focus on policing?” asked Oosterhoff pointedly.

Faced with a clear question and an urgent call to action, the Minister replied that the Liberals have established a Mental Health Wellness Table. At this table, all of the ministries involved “are sitting talking about the issues and how the aspects of mental health… impact on so many different government services”. Minister Jaczek concluded that is “a very important initiative.”

“This Liberal government is so out of touch with reality that they think sitting and talking to one another is a real solution,” said Oosterhoff. “After 15 long years of wasteful and incompetent government, June 7th cannot come soon enough.” 

Oosterhoff is planning an adjournment debate in the Legislature on Wednesday evening, where he will ask for a proper response for this question from the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.  

To watch a video of Niagara West-Glanbrook MPP Sam Oosterhoff raising this issue in the provincial legislature, click on

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One response to “Ontario Liberals Continue To Drop The Ball On Mental Health Services

  1. Gary Screaton Page

    Mental health admissions, even on the short term, are an almost daily occurrence. Those admissions are only the tip of the iceberg of those who are suffering. This at a time when regulations are making more difficult the delivery of counselling by not-for-profit professional counseling agencies.

    When Dr. Smith came in, he hired, as I recall, nurses, doctors, but no psychologists or non-medical therapists. I commented on that at the time. Clearly, the whole issue of care for those with “mental health” problems is becoming increasingly medicalised. And, why not? Clearly, there is big money to be made in the “treatment” of “mental health” problems with medicine. With them, more “patients” can be processed, in less time, and big-farma can make more cash!

    Yet, I suggest, the vast majority of those needing emotional support need counselling or talk therapies not meds: they need relationships not drugs. Indeed, drugs can add to their problems. Have you not heard the “suicide risk” disclaimers in so many drug ads seen via American television?

    When are governments at all levels going to wake up to the contribution made by thousands of practitioners who give proven support to many of those in crisis not requiring medication because they are not medically “ill” but emotionally in need of supportive relationships? Why not put more money here?

    Why, too, are there too often cases of individuals being brought to hospital due to emotional stress only to be released prematurely to find themselves returned in short order. What a waste of resources.

    As long as government and others involved in the care of those in distress take the medical view there will be a great number not helped at all because of the extraordinary cost of the medial approach. Some, of course, need medical care. I suggest certainly not the majority. Why, for example, is every refugee with whom I have worked who finds themselves, not surprisingly, under stress, when taken for psychiatric assessment given medication and not ongoing counselling/therapy to deal with the real cause — non-medical — of their trauma. A pill does not cure the wounds of the terror so many have escaped. Relationships and good counselling can be quite effective, too.

    Let’s expand the care system to include more non-medical practitioners and let’s help more people at less cost!

    Wow, do we need a change in government!


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