Editorial | Mental health must be a priority during next Ontario campaign

2022-01-29 9:45:00 PM

‘The crisis that is mental health care in this province should be a paramount issue for those who seek to govern.’

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StarEditorialBoard: The consequences of the pandemic are washing over us in painful ways and are likely to do so for a generation. Plans for mental health services and how to fund them should be top of mind during the next Ontario election.

‘The crisis that is mental health care in this province should be a paramount issue for those who seek to govern.’

And it should be reprised pretty much every day thereafter until the vote on June 2.It’s clear by now that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic — the lockdowns and protocols imposed to combat it — are washing over us in painful ways and are likely to do so for a generation.

As the Star’s Nadine Yousif reported this week“I see more pessimism and less resilience than in previous waves,” Gratzer added. “Remember, we were already in a mental-health crisis before the pandemic began, and this won’t end when the last COVID patient leaves the ICU. For health policy makers, this is a long-term issue that needs to be addressed right now.”

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read Let us make a less than modest proposal. The next designated “Let’s Talk Day” on mental health should be the day this spring that Premier Doug Ford visits the lieutenant governor to trigger an Ontario election. “From the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank each and every member of council, Brant County staff for all the kind words, wishes, cards and gifts I’ve received the past four weeks since my surgery,” Coun. And it should be reprised pretty much every day thereafter until the vote on June 2. The new provincial direction, issued this month due to unprecedented strain on the health system from the highly transmissible Omicron variant, says health-care employees who are closer to the end of their isolation period should come back to work first and be limited to working with. The crisis that is mental health care in this province should be a paramount issue for those who seek to govern. Wheat, who had hip surgery, said the procedure took 65 minutes at Brantford General Hospital. For the simple reason that it affects just about everything.

What’s needed will carry a big price tag. Wheat, due to other factors, spent five days in hospital during which he said he saw the “unsung heroes” of the pandemic – nurses and cleaning staff. But failure to pay it, failure to rise to a rapidly growing challenge, will cost massively more in the long term in all manner of ways. It’s clear by now that the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic — the lockdowns and protocols imposed to combat it — are washing over us in painful ways and are likely to do so for a generation. “They work in the background and nobody ever sees them. Therapists and counsellors in Ontario and elsewhere have been frantically busy for most of the last two years. A health-care system that didn’t come close to meeting demand even before the pandemic, has been overwhelmed. Article content Coun.

As the Star’s Nadine Yousif reported this week , the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s latest national survey showed levels of anxiety, depression and substance use surging along with the Omicron variant’s rapid spread. CAMH psychiatrist Dr. Earlier in the meeting, councillors received thanks for addressing a range of issues at a Grand River access point in Glen Morris. David Gratzer said this wave feels different from earlier ones for many people, as if “the rug has been pulled out from under them after they thought the worst was over. “I see more pessimism and less resilience than in previous waves,” Gratzer added. “These changes could not have been possible without the time and effort everyone put into them. “Remember, we were already in a mental-health crisis before the pandemic began, and this won’t end when the last COVID patient leaves the ICU.

For health policy makers, this is a long-term issue that needs to be addressed right now. The parking lot was cleaned and expanded, he noted in the letter, co-signed by Karen Murray-Hopf.” The survey found front-line workers and women were disproportionately struggling with anxiety and depression. There are obvious reasons, explained Dr. Article content Both spoke to councillors last March and pleaded for help in solving what they called an “over tourism” problem at the Eric Thomlinson River Access Point. Samantha Wells, a senior director of research at CAMH who helped lead the survey. “These larger increases among women may reflect that they are often carrying a disproportionate burden, including imbalances in caregiving responsibilities and front-line work,” she said. Additional signage was also put up and the county increased its enforcement of parking restrictions.

It’s also the case, research has shown, that women have taken the hardest economic hit over the last two years. Even if someone had been specifically assigned to the task, they would have found it difficult to design a set of circumstances more hazardous to mental well-being than those at play during the pandemic. County staff are preparing a report on the effectiveness of measures at the three river access points, which is scheduled to come before councillors in February. It has left people disoriented, isolated and exhausted, with relationships strained and families distressed as they try to cope with disrupted education, perilous work environments, financial uncertainty. “While people are incredibly resilient, as this pandemic wears on it’s the people working on the front lines who are among the most affected,” Wells said. The CAMH study also found a significant increase in reports of unmet mental-health needs, with 24 per cent of those surveyed saying they had been unable to obtain needed services in the last 12 months.

Surprisingly, perhaps, it was those age 18 to 39 – not seniors – who reported the highest levels of moderate to severe anxiety, loneliness and feelings of depression. And the CAMH survey dealt only with adults. The toll taken on children – with the disruptions to school, athletics, social lives, the lost graduations and proms that normally serve as milestones along the path to maturity – presents a looming wave of mental-health demand. It’s safe to say that without the comfort and consolation of normal relationships, and with trust in institutions and their own futures fractured, the impact of pandemic measures will be long-lasting. Research suggests, moreover, that the pandemic’s mental-health impact is disproportionately affecting those most vulnerable and from more complex circumstances – low-income, Indigenous and racialized groups.

“It has never been more important to invest in mental health to prepare our health-care system for the fallout from this pandemic,” said Dr. Hayley Hamilton, the other co-leader of the CAMH survey. As the impact becomes clear, plans for services and how to fund them should be top of mind for the major challengers in the forthcoming Ontario election. At core, government is about deciding who gets what, about how to allot finite resources to almost endless demands. Elections are about deciding who gets to make those decisions.

No party leader who fails to spell out in the coming campaign a comprehensive mental-health program to face this challenge should be entrusted with the privilege. SHARE: .