Terence Kernaghan MPP, London North Centre

Government of Ontario

Ford government must stop ignoring city’s need for mental health support

Published on May 6, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP for London North Centre Terence Kernaghan said the Ford government can no longer ignore London’s critical need for mental health funding, and urged Ford to listen to requests for funding from Daya Counselling Centre, a charitable organization in London that offers free and low-cost therapy to individuals, couples and families who cannot otherwise afford it.

“Many people in our community, and across Ontario, can’t access psychotherapy or counselling services unless it is subsidized or free, because of the prohibitive costs,” Kernaghan said. “But for an individual or family dealing with a mental health challenge or crisis, therapy can be a lifeline, ensuring that people get back on their feet.

“The Ford government has slashed Ontario’s mental health funding by $330-million and cut funding to overdose prevention sites province-wide. Organizations like Daya are too often forced to fill in the gaps. But the demand for services is far outstripping the need, and Daya — which has provided 9,000 counselling appointments in the past year — is flooded with more client requests than it has resources to admit. The centre needs government funding so that it can provide badly-needed counselling to a greater number of people.”

In a press release issued Monday, Daya’s executive director said the centre reached out to the Ford government for support, but did not receive a response.

“Making sure people have access to affordable therapy reduces suffering and increases health and safety in our communities. In addition to saving lives, centres like Daya reduce the strain on our hospital system by keeping people out of crisis,” Kernaghan said. “It’s time the Ford Conservatives invest in London’s mental health services. Londoners deserve a government that protect their safety and well-being, that keep families healthy and keep people out of the hospital.”