Margaret Frazer House Demands Action on Reducing the Financial Barrier to
Healthcare for People with Mental Illness

TORONTO, Sept. 16 /CNW/ - Financial barriers can be immense for people who suffer from mental illness and the Ontario Government has an opportunity to act now. The All-Party Committee on Mental Health and Addictions is hearing from groups and individuals on what should be included in a strategy for the province.

"We are launching a petition campaign today, at our community bar-b-que, to include the cost of psychotherapy services for all Ontarians conducted by a registered psychotherapist under the existing Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)" said Elaine Flis, Chair of the Board for the Margaret Frazer House (MFH).

For individuals who face economic hardships and are predisposed to mental illness, losing stabilizing resources, such as income, employment, and housing, for an extended period of time can increase the risk factors for mental illness.

Experiencing a mental illness can seriously interrupt a person's education or career path and result in diminished opportunities for employment and a lack of secure employment, in turn, affects one's ability to earn an adequate income. As a result, people may eventually drift into poverty. The cost of one hour of psychotherapy treatment ranges from $85 to $250.

"The Ontario Government has an opportunity and must act to reduce the financial barrier to mental health services," said Flis. "If not, we know the long term financial cost to society is immense." Flis said.

MFH is a community mental health agency in Toronto for women with severe mental illness. Margaret's mission is to provide the continuum of housing and support services for women with mental illness through innovative programming, advocacy and education which empowers them to build and reclaim their lives.

SOURCE MARGARET FRAZER HOUSE

For further information: For further information: Elaine Flis, MFH Board Chair, (416) 258-2264

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MARGARET FRAZER HOUSE

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