What Do The Parties Vying In The Ontario Election Say About Perinatal Mental Health?

The CPMHC reached out to the major political parties in Ontario in early 2022, and had several meetings with party officials knowing that an election would soon be called. We wanted to make sure perinatal mental health was a priority for each party in Ontario.

The CPMHC provided the parties with its election platform document asking that each party commit to ensuring timely access to perinatal mental health services like the federal government has and to creating a national perinatal mental health strategy.

NDP and Liberals only Parties to Focus on Perinatal Mental Health

The only parties that specifically mention perinatal mental health are the NDP and Liberal parties which are promising to enact a perinatal mental health strategy if elected.

NDP

“We recognize that the birth of a child can be a vulnerable time in people’s lives, and we’ll ensure that mental health care includes a full perinatal mental health strategy to support new families in this important transition.”

The NDP not only mentioned perinatal mental health in their platform, they devoted an entire page of the platform to maternal mental health, also promising to expand midwifery care and expand options for midwife-run birth centres for families.

They are also promising to establish universal mental health coverage and to creating a Mental Health Ontario agency.

Liberal

On page 73 of the Liberal Platform it states:

“We’ll create an Ontario Women’s Health Strategy to make the health system more responsive to women’s health needs, including maintaining publicly funded abortion services and reproductive health programs currently available and expanding access to fertility treatments, early pregnancy loss and perinatal mental health services.”

PCs, Greens Mental Health Promises

While the other parties don’t mention perinatal mental health specifically, we are encouraged to see each party mention mental health in general and our hope is that perinatal mental health will be a priority across all party lines.

The PCs are promising to spend $204 million to build on investments in mental health supports. The PCs didn’t release a platform. They made funding announcements in the latter stages of their government and say they plan to bring their funding promises from their unpassed 2022 budget back to the table if re-elected.

The Greens promise to boost mental health spending to 10% of Ontario’s health care budget, create a three-digit, 24-7 mental health crisis response line to divert calls from 911 to a more appropriate service, and build 60,000 supportive housing spaces for people who need addiction care with 6,000 of those units dedicated to people with complex care needs.

Election Day is on June 2nd.

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