Forums focus on restructuring during mental Health week | National Union of Public and General Employees

Forums focus on restructuring during mental Health week

Events scheduled in London, Kingston and Thunder Bay

 

Toronto (9 May 2007) - This week is Mental Health Week in Ontario.

London, Kingston and Thunder Bay are the sites of public forums during the week to draw attention to the serious problems facing community-based mental health programs.

In 2006 the ministry of health commissioned a report by the Deloitte and Touche Consulting Group. The findings revealed that two-thirds of the 21 mental health programs in Ontario had trouble discharging patients due to a shortage of supportive housing and specialized treatment programs in the community.

Community-based mental health services promise to be a key issue in the Oct. 10 provincial election in Ontario.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) will be a panelist at all three events.

“We know what it takes to make mental health services work," Thomas says. "The government needs to freeze the downloading of beds and services until we have supportive housing in place, community treatment programs, and a highly skilled professional workforce in the community."

OPSEU represents approximately 5,600 mental health care professionals who have experienced first hand the problems associated with downloading.

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