MONTREAL, Jan. 22, 2022 /CNW/ - As Quebecers still await the peak of this devastating fifth wave of the pandemic, the Official Opposition today called for an urgent plan of 'sanitary measures' on mental health. "We are facing alarming and unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and desperation," noted David Birnbaum, Liberal Critic for Mental Health. "On-the-ground experts and community organizations are telling me they can hardly respond to the urgent calls for help. During this fifth wave, there is hardly a single, clear undertaking that the CAQ has identified to help Quebecers deal with this terrible stress on families, businesses and communities. It's time for action."
For months, the CAQ has rejected our repeated contention that Quebec is facing a mental-health crisis. The failure to designate essential new resources, to come to the aid of strapped community organizations working in mental health, and the absence of additional training, support and accompaniment for educators and health workers are but some examples of the CAQ government inaction on this pressing matter.
With a view to doing better, to supporting Quebecers at this most difficult of times, Birnbaum today proposed immediate action, and a four-point plan of sanitary measures on mental health:
- Establish a genuine public psychotherapy program;
- Fund and develop an age-appropriate teaching toolbox for students, teachers and community workers to help maintain positive mental health during the pandemic;
- Increase funding and hiring support for community organizations within the mental health sector;
- Undertake an emergency awareness campaign for social and traditional media to promote positive mental health measures.
"There are so many people across Quebec who are struggling with mental-health issues, either in their own lives or in the professional efforts to come to the aid of others," Birnbaum concluded. "They cannot play their part unless and until the government gives them the tools they so desperately need to help us all get better. "There is no vaccination against this crisis, only concerted action. The CAQ must take up this challenge."
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