As the lockdowns and restrictions proceed to impact our lives in one way or another I’ve begun to feel a little down — depressed even — and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way.
In fact, a national survey from The University of B.C. tells us just that — with 40 per cent of Canadians saying their mental health was worse than it was just a year ago. Not just that, but suicidal thoughts have sharply increased in Canadians (from two and a half per cent pre-COVID, six per cent in to spring and now sitting at 10 per cent).
With that, even before the coronavirus, many therapists were fully booked up with waiting lists for patients to receive the help they need and now it has to be worse.
Ontario just invested $1.5 Million in mental health and addiction services in addition to previous funding of over $900,000 previously invested in the CHAMPS program.
The funding is purposed towards Indigenous mental health and addiction service providers across Northwestern Ontario to “co-develop culturally appropriate services.
Additional investments in the billions planned
The Ontario government has also invested $1 million in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) program this year “as a part of Ontario’s roadmap to wellness mental health and addictions strategy. The province also plans to invest an additional $3.8 billion over 10 years “as a part of Roadmap to Wellness.“
“This investment will help improve the mental health and addictions care provided to children and youth in the North and will address the extensive wait times for critical services that have existed for far too long,” said Associate Minister of Health, Micheal Tibollo in the Ontario news release.
The release states while children and youth experience mental health and addiction challenges, it can often have a significant impact on their families, and in smaller regions, it can affect entire communities.
Does the government really care and is it the best we can do?
While we are investing millions now and billions down the road for mental health services I can only but wonder how this is the best that we can do as a province or a country.
I’m not talking about investing more money — I’m talking about opening back up and ending lockdowns and other guidelines. As Sweden proves, lockdowns aren’t necessary and simply don’t work.
We are investing all this money in mental health services — and while yes these are important — there are other things at stake too.
In 2020, from March to Dec, there were just over 950,000 routine tests for various cancers performed. When you compare that to the same period a year prior, the numbers are much higher with almost 1 million more routine tests performed at 1,949,620 tests.
On top of that, a report from Stats Canada essentially states that lockdowns, not COVID-19 are now driving ‘excess deaths,’ as talked about below in the video referenced from an article by LifeSite News.
The report lists delayed cancer screenings, a plummet in Canadians’ overall mental health, and damage caused to low-income Canadians as consequences of the “lockdowns” and “restrictions” put in place by our government.
Here’s a little video explaining just that.
On top of that, over 250,000 life-saving surgeries were missed and are backlogged.
According to Stats Canada, in British Columbia, the Chief Coroner’s office has reported increased deaths due to overdoses since the start of the pandemic. The same has been seen in Alberta with an increase in opioid-related emergency responses and deaths since the start of all this. Not to mention the decreases in both the provision and use of substance use treatment programs.
According to The Star, Ontario saw overdoses in the region of Cornwall more than double in the last eight months of 2020.
According to the Prince Albert Daily Herald, in all of Canada, there were 2,670 deaths due to opioid overdoses between January and June 2020, with 1,628 occurring between April and June alone — the highest number recorded for a single quarter since overdose trends were first tracked in 2016.
We can keep investing in mental health and addiction services all we want — while it is important — I really don’t think this is the long-term solution.
It’s merely a Band-Aid to make the government appear that they care as more Canadian suffer from mental health issues caused by lockdowns and restrictions they instituted. Tragically, some have already taken their own lives as a result of these measures.
Politicians seem to just sit back and pretend they care. They say things like “there’s no shame in seeking help,” when it’s their fault we are in this catastrophe of a mess in the first place. They can fix this — but they won’t. The political consequences would require bravery and leadership.
While there is no shame in seeking help — many probably wouldn’t be feeling this way if we had done things differently.
It’s just a bandaid covering up the damage done underneath — and I think it’s time to rip it off once and for all.
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