PETERBOROUGH – MPP Marit Stiles (Davenport), Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, was in Peterborough Tuesday calling on the Ford Conservatives to improve access to mental health services to get Ontarians the help they need and in turn, boost the economy.
“Mental health is increasingly affecting young Ontarians – let’s face it, they’re feeling despondent about the future. We can’t expect people to go to work and grow the economy if they’re experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety,” said Stiles.
The press conference followed a meeting with the Peterborough & Kawartha Chamber of Commerce, which has emphasized more supports for workers’ mental health as a key policy priority. Stiles and the Chamber also discussed a variety of ways to support small businesses and workers during this cost-of-living crisis, including improving transit, increasing support for municipalities, and fixing the health care crisis.
“Everything starts and ends with good mental health. When people are feeling good, they are more productive, more creative,” Stiles said. “But if people are struggling, then their poor mental health negatively impacts their life, community and the province.
Stiles and the NDP recently tabled a motion in the Legislature to fund community mental health programs to make psychotherapy more accessible. Ford’s Conservatives voted no. NDP MPPs France Gélinas (Nickle Belt) and Jill Andrew (Toronto—St. Paul’s) also proposed that the government make psychotherapy services tax-free.
“If Ford really is a friend of workers, as he loves to claim, then he would do good by Ontarians struggling to keep up. Expanding access to mental health care is a win win win – a win for the people, a win for employers and a win for the province,” said Stiles.