Where do political parties stand on mental health and addictions?



    TORONTO, Oct. 5 /CNW/ - Ontario voters now have the opportunity to review
each party's commitments on mental health and addictions issues before casting
their ballot next week. The results of party questionnaires were released
today by a partnership of organizations representing mental health and
addictions consumers and service providers. The results from parties and
individual candidates are available on-line at www.ofcmhap.on.ca/node/343
(Election 2007 tab).
    The Ontario Election next week is the first time that each of the parties
have recognized the need to address the complex health and social issues
facing people with addiction and mental health issues. Whatever the outcome of
next week's election, Ontario's mental health and addictions stakeholders are
committed to building opportunities to improve the lives of Ontarians with
mental health and addictions problems, their families and communities.
    Mental health and addiction organizations are concerned that the
commitments of the parties to improve disability support payments and develop
more supportive housing fail to match community need. "Without adequate
income, housing and appropriate employment, recovery is incomplete," said
Deborrah Sherman, President of the Ontario Peer Development Initiative
representing mental health consumer survivor organizations. "I encourage
everyone - but particularly those with mental health and addictions problems -
to review the parties' positions on these issues before casting their
ballots."
    David Kelly, executive director of the Ontario Federation of Community
Mental Health and Addictions Programs urges all voters to carefully consider
the approaches of each party and look to the solutions that support recovery
in a holistic fashion. There are clear distinctions in the Party platforms and
approaches to addiction and mental health issues. With one in five Ontarians
needing these vital supports in their lifetime it is important to have
leadership and commitment to addiction and mental health issues.
    "Let's start with the good news," said Lorne Zon, Chief Executive Officer
of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario. "Each major political
party has made important commitments about investing in mental health
services. Our biggest challenges remain improving access to services, and
strengthening the housing and income supports provided to those with mental
health and addiction problems."

    This partnership was developed in 2004, and is comprised of six
organizations that include: Addictions Ontario, Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA), Ontario, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),
Ontario Association of Patient Councils (OAPC), Ontario Federation of
Community Mental Health and Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP) and Ontario Peer
Development Initiative (OPDI). Together, they are committed to raising the
profile of mental illness and addictions in Ontario, and to supporting the
needs of those living with mental health and addictions problems, their
families, and their communities.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Kelly, Executive Director
OFCMHAP, (416) 490-8900; Norma Medulun, President, Board of Directors,
Addictions Ontario, (905) 682-6411, ext. 63121; Michael Torres, Media
Relations, CAMH, (416) 595-6015; For More Information: Addictions Ontario
(AO), www.addictionsontario.ca; Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
(CMHA ON), www.ontario.cmha.ca; Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH),
www.camh.net; Ontario Association of Patient Councils (OAPC), (416) 633-9420
ext. 1-6969; Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health and Addiction
Programs (OFCMHAP), www.ofcmhap.on.ca; Ontario Peer Development Initiative
(OPDI), www.opdi.org


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