Ontario NDP statement on First Nations youth health and safety crisis
ELLIOT LAKE - Ontario NDP critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Michael Mantha issued the following statement today following an announcement by the ministers of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, Health and Long-Term Care and Children and Youth Services regarding mental health counsellors on the Pikangikum First Nation.
“Mental health care is health care, and for too long, Indigenous communities haven’t had appropriate access to either. This week’s announcement regarding more counsellor resources for Pikangikum First Nation is welcome – we’re hopeful that individuals will finally receive the help they need, that they’ve waited too long for. However, other First Nation communities throughout Ontario are also in a state of emergency. With suicide, especially among youth, tragically all too common, Ontario needs a government that is ready to step up and ensure everyone has mental health care they can count on – before it’s too late.
Help from federal and provincial governments has been slow to arrive. Lives are at stake – that can’t continue.