AMHO, other leaders call for action on worsening mental health and addiction crisis
March 9, 2021
“Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is proud to be part of the powerful call to action issued today by the leaders in Ontario’s mental health and addiction sector, with the Everything is Not OK campaign.
We know that Everything is Not OK. Many Ontarians are struggling and in deep distress. An unprecedented number, nearly 75%, of Ontarians are reporting increased addiction and mental health challenges, and many are waiting months – and sometimes years – to get the treatment and support they need. AMHO members, who provide on-the-ground community and mental health supports and services across the province, are faced with this reality everyday. We need to act, deliberately and in unity, now.
It is not okay that people with mental illness and addiction challenges are more likely to die prematurely, sometimes by as much as 10-20 years. It is not okay that we are losing the fight to the overdose crisis. And it is not okay that disconnected, piecemeal investments have resulted in a fragmented system that has left many people without the help they need.
We have a plan. We are asking the federal and provincial governments to partner with us to implement the change necessary to support and help Ontarians now and into the future. Long-term, sustainable investments are essential to support the system improvements and to end wait lists. For our part, AMHO, along with the other leading mental health and addiction organizations behind Everything is Not OK, is committed to the transformational change needed to build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addiction system that prioritizes a comprehensive reduction in wait times across the province.
No matter who you are, your race, your gender, your sexuality, where you live or how much money you make, you should have timely access to quality, culturally safe addiction and mental health services. Ensuring this access was vital before the COVID-19 pandemic but it needs to now be an essential portion of any COVID-19 recovery plan. COVID-19 recovery is going to depend on a strong and resilient population. Everything is Not OK.”
Adrienne Spafford, CEO