Andrea Horwath and the NDP will help post-secondary students care for their mental health with a free and easily accessible mental health care.
“University, college and trade school is a stressful time — it’s always a stressful time, full of change,” said Horwath. “Right now, a silent epidemic of mental health struggles is making life so much harder on students and young adults. Students are trying to cope with anxiety, stress, loss and grief, and getting used to being on campus after years of isolation. And students think there is no way they’ll ever be able to afford the kind of counselling or support they need — so they suffer in silence, thinking there’s no where to turn.
“But mental health care is health care, and we shouldn’t have to pay for it. Together, we can fix it — so in Ontario, students will always have someone to turn to, and they’ll get mental health care with their OHIP card, not a credit card.”
The NDP plan to help university students includes:
- Expanding OHIP coverage to include universal basic mental health care, and introducing legislation that recognizes mental health is as important as physical health.
- Developing province-wide, trauma-informed standards to respond to campus sexual violence and prevent a continued patchwork of different policies across different institutions.
- Investing in mental health professionals and programs on post-secondary campuses.
- Creating Mental Health and Addictions Ontario, a new co-ordinating organization that will take the lead on identifying and publicly reporting on Ontarians’ mental health needs.