Wayne Gates to Table Bill In Ontario Legislature for More Funding People Struggling with Mental Health and Addictions
“People deserve better services, and no one should ever deal with mental health struggles without the support they need.” – Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates
News from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates
Posted December 5th, 2018 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario — Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates will be tabling a motion in Queen’s Park on Thursday that could secure funding to operate three 24-hour, seven-day-a-week mental health and addictions drop-in counselling programs across Niagara.
“Front-line staff are doing everything they can to ensure that every resident of Niagara has access to mental health and addictions help when and where they need it – but they can only stretch a dollar so far,” said Gates. “People deserve better services, and no one should ever deal with mental health struggles without the support they need. I believe this funding could help our front-line providers ensure that everyone in need of treatment can get it as soon as they need it.”
Gates’s motion would allow current mental health services in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls to operate around the clock; it would also provide for the creation of an around-the-clock Welland location. The funding is also designed to establish preventative spaces for those seeking support for mental health and addictions issues who aren’t necessarily in crisis.
The motion would provide for resources for family members and under stress while caring for someone struggling with mental health and addictions issues. When necessary, the locations would offer in-person crisis intervention, which is currently only offered around the clock by phone.
“As we see a stigma reduction around mental illness and addiction, more people are reaching out for help, and the demand has outgrown the supply,” said Tara McKendrick, Executive Director of CMHA Niagara. “We have an immense amount of capability and skills at the service level, but capacity and limitations on the hours that help is available is a real problem for our community.
We need community-based services as an alternative to hospitals for situations that do not require hospital levels of care — that’s what this motion would achieve,” said McKendrick. “Early intervention and access to mental health and addictions support to prevent crisis is extremely important — we need the resources so we can identify options, connect patients to those option and encourage recovery.”
The debate and vote on this motion will be held this Thursday, Dec. 6.
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