CONSERVATIVE Party Leader Erin O’Toole on Wednesday introduced the Canada Mental Health Action Plan in Brantford, Ontario.
O’Toole noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened Canada’s mental health crisis, especially for youth. After a year of lockdowns, one in five Canadians has screened positive for symptoms of depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
“As a country, we need to recognize that mental health is health,” said O’Toole. “We have tremendous work to do to end the stigma and build more integrated mental health care systems across the country. Only Canada’s Conservatives have a plan to secure the mental health of Canadians.”
To help those struggling with mental health, as part of the Canada Mental Health Action Plan, a Conservative government will:
- Massively boost health transfers to the provinces to six per cent annually, doubling the Liberal commitment and representing $60 billion more health care dollars over the next 10 years.
- Work with the provinces to invest in mental health as the health priority it is with the goal of providing enough funding through health transfers for an additional million Canadians to receive mental health treatment every year and cut the waitlists for help.
- Encourage employers to add mental health coverage to the employee benefit plans or boost their coverage by offering a tax credit for 25 per cent of the cost of additional mental health coverage for the first three years.
- Provide $150 million over three years in grants to nonprofits and charities delivering mental health and wellness programming.
- Create a nationwide three-digit suicide prevention hotline.
- Make the single largest investment in Canadian history for mental health supports for Indigenous people by providing $1 billion over five years to boost funding for Indigenous mental health and drug treatment programs, including providing culturally appropriate supports.
— Erin O'Toole (@erinotoole) August 25, 2021
“Canada’s Conservatives believe that mental health is as important as physical health and now is the time to act,” said O’Toole. “I want Canadians who are struggling to know that we are here to support you and ensure help is on the way.”