Weve Talked. Its Time for Action on Mental Health

January 29, 2020

Dougald Lamont , Manitoba Liberal Leader and MLA for St. Boniface, is calling on the Pallister government to act today and provide better mental health services for Manitobans that need it.

If we are going to get serious about mental health in Manitoba, we need action.

"When it comes to Bell Let's Talk, it's great to try to remove the stigma around mental illness, but the reality is that talk is not enough," said Lamont. "It creates the impression that the problem is that we aren't open enough about mental illness, and that if we just talk that it will get better. It is not enough."

Lamont said there is a near complete lack of affordable mental health care in Manitoba and in Canada. Even if people want treatment for their mental illness, there is not sufficient support for people to get treatment. In Manitoba, it can take years for children to get diagnosed. If they can't get diagnosed, they can't get treatment.

Depression and anxiety are exacerbated by real problems like unemployment, precarious work, a lack of housing, or hard family situations. A recent survey shows that 50% of Canadians say they are on the verge of insolvency. Other surveys have shown that raising the minimum wage can reduce suicides.

"We should talk about how the Manitoba PC government has made things worse. They delayed a $400-million housing agreement and a $400-million health agreement that dedicated funding for mental health," said Lamont. "The PCs have been freezing wages and thousands of people have been laid off."

Lamont added that psychotherapy should be covered by Medicare. It is lower cost, effective, and gets the best results when combined with medications.

The PCs spent their first term undermining housing, jobs and mental health care.

We've talked. It's time for action and support for Manitobans that need it.

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