Neither one was my kid…..But either one of them could have been.

Nobody is immune. We are facing a mental health crisis….or rather we aren’t facing our current mental health crisis.

We are turning our backs. We are pretending it’s a gun problem…or we are pretending it’s because they weren’t raised properly. NONE OF US ARE IMMUNE.

Our children are screaming out in pain for help. They don’t know what they need. WE don’t know what they need. We need help.

Any single one of us could have been the parents of Julianna Kozis.

Any single one of us could have been the parent of Faisal Hussain, Any single one of us could have been the parent of Reese Fallon. All three sets of parents are so grief stricken today that their lives will never be the same.

Today, I am begging our government to stop paying lip service to this Mental Health crisis. Our children live in a world where social media is king and the devil all at once. They don’t and can’t live without it, but nobody made any rules about living with it. We need services for children that feel alone, or bullied, or misunderstood, or angry. We treat the drug addicted as though they are criminals when really they are just using the aspirin of their generation to try and numb their pain.

This affects every family… rich or poor…from Forest Hill to Flemingdon Park. No-one is immune. Conservative or Liberal or NDP. The only difference is that if your family is wealthy you can afford private psychologists. But if your family can’t afford it….and the government doesn’t step in to make it more available to you, your children’s mental health issues will spill out just the same. It’s in everyones best interests.

And I don’t mean more funding for CAMH…. Unless that changes from 9-5PM…and “we will help you with an appointment 6 months from now”….

NO… This problem extends beyond 9-5pm… and before the 6 month later appointment has arrived, our children have already walked down then street with a gun and shot someone randomly on a major street. DON’T THINK YOU ARE IMMUNE.

Mental illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians….and medication helps ? Sure…maybe…like a bandaid. But if you want people to understand WHY they are at where they are at emotionally, they have to talk about it. You put a bandaid on a pouring wound, it won’t fix it and there will be spillover everywhere that is costly to clean up. Ontarians aren’t saving any money by not covering therapy under OHIP….The clean up costs more than they would have spent… far more. I say enough…let’s stop paying lip service to this gigantic problem. Let’s demand our government address it now… We elected them for goodness sake ! Not with meetings about how it will work. Not with a 9-5 solution that has a 5 month waiting list. Therapy is needed and talking is important .

We can spend our money and time more wisely than repealing legislation that sends us back 20 years. OUR CHILDREN ARE IN CRISIS. Nobody is immune.

We can go to bed tonight and forget that this happened and think that there are no more repercussions. But tomorrow, you could wake up and like the parents of Julianna you say…”How did this happen?” Or the parents of Faisal you say, “How can I go on?” Or the parents of Reese who ask us to hug our daughters tightly today. Let’s not wait one more minute.

My heart aches for these families….for all of these children. Please… no more bandaids on gushing wounds.

I am begging you Doug Ford…. Do something.

I am pleading with you Justin Trudeau .,….Change this.

I am clutching my heart in anguish….Andrea Horwath.

John Tory…..Please, whatever clout you carry….use it.

Nobody is immune.

A Parent’s Plea

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