On 25th January, Michelle Eaton, Vice President of Public Affairs of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), released the following statement to mark Bell Let’s Talk Day, a year-round initiative that focuses on raising awareness around mental health.
“Mental health challenges and illnesses impact everyone, either directly or indirectly. Unfortunately, according to Statistics Canada, over half of Canadians report their mental health has worsened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This issue is extremely important to our members across Ontario, impacting the health care system, labour force and economy.
“We have long championed the importance of improved mental health care and access through research, advocacy and, in recent years, developed toolkits to support mental health and wellness in the workplace. Of particular concern are the ongoing opioid overdose crisis and the surging mental health “echo pandemic”. Strategic investments and partnerships will be necessary to address these challenges and guard against the associated socioeconomic and health system impacts.
“Over the coming year, the OCC will take on research to accelerate health and economic solutions to address the impacts of the opioid overdose crisis and the mental health echo pandemic. We look forward to working with our partners and policymakers to improve mental health care and access for everyone.”