NDP leader Andrea Horwath has issued a release questioning the decision to layoff 28 highly trained child and youth counsellors at Whitby’s Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences.
“The McGuinty government acknowledges there is a crisis in mental health funding and has promised to fix the problems,” says Horwath. “Why is the government idle while drastic cuts are being made to the very services families need for treating their child’s mental health issues?”
Horwath, who is the NDP’s critic for Children and Youth Services, is calling for cancellation of the layoffs and protection of the existing adolescent residential rehab program.
“It appears as though the stage is being set to reduce and replace longer term residential services with short-term and outpatient programs,” she says. “For the young patients and their families, this marks a return to the ‘revolving door’ of services that experts in the field decry.”
Several prominent child psychiatrists have been critical of Ontario Shores over changes to the program, including replacing the child and youth counsellors with a smaller number of nurses, most of them RPNs. One of them, Dr. Gabrielle Ledger, resigned her post over the changes.
To read Andrea Horwath’s letter to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care, the Minister of Child and Youth Services, and the Chair of the Central East LHIN, click here: