TORONTO, May 4 /CNW/ - It's Mental Health Week in Canada and Ontario's
doctors are taking the opportunity to remind the government to support
and care for those who are living with mental illnesses. A motion
passed at the Ontario Medical Association's (OMA) Annual General
Meeting last weekend reaffirmed the commitment of Ontario's doctors to
advocate improvements to mental health care when the government
releases its 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.
Earlier this year, Ontario's doctors released a policy platform, "Better care. Healthier patients. A stronger Ontario." The platform contains a thoughtful and practical set of 41 policy
recommendations, including several on mental health such as:
Moving all mental health services under the purview of one ministry;
Implementing a mental health strategy for teenagers and young adults to
ensure there is a smooth transition to adult care; and
Ensuring all primary care physicians and psychiatrists should have
access to, or option to, participate in a team based care model.
In the 2011 provincial budget the government announced it would be
making investments into children's mental health, which was also a key
recommendation made by Ontario's doctors. The commitment to new
investments was supported by Ontario's doctors.
In addition, the OMA Section on Psychiatry wrote a letter in February to
the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and called for the creation
of wait time targets for mental illness treatment.
"Ontario's doctors believe there needs to be a renewed focus on
improving mental health care in Ontario. We look forward to working
with government to tackle this issue and ultimately improving treatment
for our mental health patients."
Stewart Kennedy, MD, President of the Ontario Medical Association
"Wait times have decreased for several key procedures in Ontario. Mental
illness should be no different. Ontario has an opportunity to be a
leader in providing timely treatment to those living with a mental
Desi Brownstone, MD, Chair, Section on Psychiatry
One in five Ontarians will experience a serious mental illness in their
Utilization of health-care services is highest among those who have been
diagnosed with a mental illness; and
Only one-third of those who need mental health services in Canada will
actually receive them.
SOURCE Ontario Medical Association
For further information:
OMA Media Relations at (416) 340-2862 or toll-free at 1-800-268-7215 ext. 2862