More than two dozen OPSEU members working at Frontenac Community Mental Health and Addiction Services (FCMH and other supporters staged a successful noon hour information picket in Kingston yesterday to drive home the message that the provincial government is underfunding mental health services, even as it increases workloads.
OPSEU president Smokey Thomas told the enthusiastic crowd that on the one hand the province wants to deliver more health care services to communities, but falls short of reinforcing that pledge with the necessary funding. The province can’t have it both ways, he said.
OPSEU Region 4 board members Dave Lundy and Chris Cormier also attended the rally.
In 2012 FCMHAS received $11.4 million. This year, despite downsizing at Providence Care which puts more stress on Frontenac’s services, the agency will see its funding drop to $11.3 million. The result is more pressure on front line to deal with patients with more complex mental health needs.
Speakers at the rally called on local MPP, Liberal John Gerretsen, to have his government live up to its commitment around funding community care.