The Liberal government is not meeting its own identified shortfalls for mental health

OTTAWA — Today, NDP Indigenous Affairs Critics called on the government to immediately address the department’s identified shortfalls for Indigenous Mental Health. New Democrats are calling on the Liberals to end the Band-Aid approach and instead commit to a long term comprehensive approach to mental wellness.

“States of Emergency are being declared across Canada as we continue to lose Indigenous youth at a staggering rate and the Liberal government isn’t even on pace to address its own identified shortfalls,” says NDP Indigenous and Northern Affairs Critic, Charlie Angus. “We need to end the Band-Aid approach and turn our culture of deniability into a culture of accountability that puts kids first.”

There is a mental health crisis faced by our Indigenous youth, and the government’s response needs to equal the scope of this crisis. Instead this government has spent less on Indigenous mental health this year, than was spent last year under the Conservatives. The current government’s plan will only get half the number of mental wellness teams needed to reach every community, and continues to underfund child welfare agencies that are responsible for mental health services on the ground.

“Not only do our elders, youth and their families need immediate support to address this mental health crisis, they require long-term and culturally appropriate solutions,” said NDP Indigenous Affairs Deputy Critic, Georgina Jolibois. “We cannot continue to stand by and watch our Indigenous youth fall through the cracks. They deserve better”

NDP MP Sheri Benson and Saskatchewan NDP MLA Danielle Chartier (Health Critic) stood in support of their colleagues in their call to immediately increase mental health services for Indigenous communities across Canada.