TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is
calling upon the McGuinty government to "walk the talk on mental
"We are tired of hearing about how this government is going to fix
mental health care while front line workers lose their jobs and
programs for patients are getting cut," says Warren (Smokey) Thomas,
President of the 130,000-member OPSEU.
Recently the union has seen reductions in front line jobs at Ontario
Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, The Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health, and Regional Mental Health in London and St. Thomas. In
addition services and beds have been transferred from Brockville and
Children's Mental Health Ontario told pre-budget hearings that this year
they expect to lose capacity to serve 2,000 children across the
The government continues to maintain services are being transferred to
the community, but the situation is just as dire there.
The Salvation Army recently tried to close down a transitional mental
health facility for lack of funds. Liberty Housing and Support Services
was losing money on operations and the building they occupied remains
in need of major repairs.
"When the Health Restructuring Commission recommended reducing the
number of institutional mental health beds, they were adamant that this
could only take place if services were established in the community,"
says Thomas. "The government never kept that commitment. The beds were
cut, the services in the community never came close to replacing them."
OPSEU is delivering the first batch of postcards signed by members to
Dalton McGuinty asking the Premier to walk the talk on mental health.
For further information:
Rick Janson at 416-525-3324