Mayor Rick Bonnette has joined the voices of the Ontario Big City Mayors (BCM) group to advocate for more mental health supports from the Province.
BCM is a symposium of mayors from municipalities with populations of 100,000 or above. While responsibility for social service supports such as mental health doesn't lie with the local municipality, Bonnette said it's communities that see the impact first-hand.
"Mental health is not geography specific, it is not wealth or gender specific," he said. "This is an across-the-board issue that requires our government to invest and advance the locally available supports for the good of all people.”
The Halton Region Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association has released statistics on mental health supports, saying that 24 per cent of Ontarians have sought out support, up from 17 per cent last winter.
“The pandemic has taken a toll on all of us,” noted Bonnette. “But layer on to that, those who were already struggling – be it from managing at-home childcare and education, to elder care to business ownership or job loss, seeking affordable housing or feelings of isolation, and the toll is enormous.”
One third of those people who accessed mental health support have said the programs that exist were not helpful to them.