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CMHA Recognizes the National Day of Observance for COVID-19

CMHA recognizes National Day of Observance for COVID-19

On March 11, 2024, CMHA Muskoka-Parry Sound honours the lives lost due to the tragedies of COVID-19. We are grateful to frontline health care workers who kept us protected and safe.

During the National Day of Observance for COVID-19, CMHA highlights the need for mental health and addiction resources, particularly for those enduring grief, loss, isolation, and loneliness due to the pandemic.

The need for services continues to rise. In the fall of 2020, one in five adults reported moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or PTSD, and this increased to one in four by early 2021. This figure remains unchanged two years later.

Ontario is facing many crises which intersect with our sector, particularly in mental health, health human resources, and housing. Services like supportive housing, crisis response, and assertive community treatment teams are experiencing higher volumes.

Additionally, the opioid crisis is worsening. In Ontario, there were more than 3000 suspect-drug related deaths in 2023.

As demand for services increase, community-based agencies like CMHAs are experiencing exceptional levels of staff shortages due to low salary compensation, and the need to invest in stabilization funding. These issues have been worsened by COVID-19 and underscore the dire need for change.

CMHA Ontario’s 2024 pre-budget submission to the province recommends the 2024 provincial budget provide a seven per cent increase in funding for the community mental health and addiction sector. This equates to a $110-million increase to base budgets, and a $33-million commitment to a new Community Supportive Housing Innovation Fund.

With stabilization funding and more commitment to supportive housing, our sector can help the government address key issues that are impacting key partners within municipalities, hospitals and first responders.

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