Editorial: Mental health support is a form of health care
There should never be wait times associated with accessing proper mental health resources.

Reaching out for mental health resources can be an intimidating experience, and that’s perfectly normal—everyone moves at their own pace, and what’s important is that you feel supported and safe as you navigate through your own thoughts and feelings. What’s never okay, however, is not having access to the care you deserve. As our society continues to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, alarming structural deficiencies within our healthcare system, especially when it comes to mental health, are being exposed. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, “Half of Canadians wait up to a month for ongoing counselling services in the community.” Children and youth in Ontario are facing wait times of up to a year for counselling and therapy. This must change. 

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that “while mental illness accounts for about 10 per cent of the burden of disease in Ontario, it receives just [seven] per cent of health care dollars,” leaving our mental health care system at a deficit of around 1.5 billion dollars. Access to mental health care in our province will never improve if we do not advocate for more funding and support. Governments need to recognize that, as CAMH states, “mental health is health,” and treatment for such conditions should be given the same importance as physical illnesses. 

Our team at The Medium encourages those struggling with their mental health to reach out, even if that means putting your name at the end of a long waitlist, because eventually, your name will be at the top. We also would like to remind you of the resources offered by the University of Toronto Mississauga, such as the Health and Counselling Centre, and by the province, like the Good2Talk helpline or My Student Support Program. You are never alone, and there will always be someone willing to help. The first step is always the hardest, but the one that brings the best change. 


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