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Published on May 23rd, 2014 | from Lori Spadorcia

Vote for mental health #Vote4MHA

I always get a little emotional during elections. As a student of political science, I have always taken my duty to participate seriously.

As a citizen, I have always felt proud and grateful to live in a free and democratic country. And, I love placing that ballot into the box!

I am equally passionate about CAMH’s promise to drive social change. We are improving the lives of people with mental illness and addictions by building awareness and understanding, promoting healthy public policies, and collaborating to improve our system of care.

Mental illness affects one in five of us, is the second leading cause of disability in the country and costs the Ontario economy a staggering $39 billion per year (See: more statistics on mental illness and addiction)

Mental health is the social justice issue of our time and yet we rarely hear a whisper about it during political campaigns.

So, as we did during the last provincial campaign, CAMH has joined the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance, a coalition of provincial organizations hoping to change the conversation.

The Alliance is asking political parties to:

  • Make a full range of mental health and addictions services and supports accessible to every citizen in Ontario
  • Ensure that people have access to safe and affordable housing, with supports as needed
  • Engage with stakeholders to provide guidance on the implementation of mental health and addiction initiatives

We are raising awareness through our #Vote4MHA campaign, using social media to engage with candidates and encouraging all Ontarians to do the same.

We’ll be monitoring each of the party platforms and we’ll be asking each of the party leaders where they stand on the issue of mental health and addictions. Stay tuned – we’ll post each party’s responses to the Alliance website.

Party leaders and local candidates need to hear loud and clear that voters are concerned about mental health. It’s time for the whisper to become a roar.

>> Join our social media campaign to make sure mental health and addiction services are a top priority #vote4mha

>> Find out more about how you can get involved

Update: We asked the parties to tell us where they stand, and they answered. Before you vote, take a minute to see where the parties stand on mental health and addiction issues


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9 Responses to Vote for mental health #Vote4MHA

  1. Patricia Jane Teskey says:

    SSO has joined this alliance too. Problem as I see it, is that it too vague. What would anyone expect a candidate to say when asked if they support mental health? It’s important to ask specific questions. Patricia Jane Date: Fri, 23 May 2014 14:48:13 +0000 To:

    • Lori Spadorcia says:

      You’re absolutely right – it is important to ask specific questions. That’s why beyond our high-level messaging the Alliance has also asked each party leader five questions about their party’s plans to tackle specific mental health and addiction issues. We should have their responses posted on the Alliance website by late next week so do stay tuned!

  2. Why is there no call for the essential cause-and-cure scientific research into serious brain diseases like schizophrenia and depression? Was this a political decision or do you not believe that these are biological diseases of the brain and we can eventually eradicate them completely if we fund enough scientific research into them?.

    That is how we managed other chronic diseases. Why not these?

    • Lori Spadorcia says:

      There’s certainly a need for innovative research that advances our understanding of how mental illness develops and affects brain function. As an academic health sciences centre, CAMH is committed to supporting mental health research and innovation at our Campbell Family Mental Health Institute. We also advocate for funding to support this agenda at all levels of government. For now the Alliance has chosen to focus on the services and supports needed by people with mental illness but these two approaches are equally important – and complementary.

  3. Brandon says:

    While CAMH surely improves upon the lives of many people living with mental illness, my experience and the expierences of many, many MANY trans* people in the process of going through the Gender Identity Clinic are very negative. It’s hard for me to believe that CAMH strives for social change when trans* people still get grossly mistreated in your facility.

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