London counselling centre challenges politicians on treatment funding
The head of the Daya Counselling Centre, whose subsidized counselling and physchotherapy openings fill quickly, is asking politicians at all levels to recognize the need for more mental health services.
Executive Director Rebecca Machado campaigned through the month of April, sending weekly messages to 31 politicians at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.
Her messages went out each Monday. In one of her messages she wrote, “I advocate for our community because of what goes right when clients can get into the service they need at the time they need it.”
She has received responses from Councillor Phil Squire, Sarnia Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu London North Centre MPP Terence Kernaghan and London-Fanshawe MPP Teresa Armstrong.
In mid-April Armstrong even made a statement in the Ontario Legislature reinforcing the need for more funding for mental health services.
Another message from Machado read, “Free or affordable psychotherapy that is available at a time of need averts crisis. It reduces hospitalization. It increases safety. It decreases suffering. It keeps families healthy and together. It decreases dependence on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). It saves money, even as it saves lives. It is the right thing to do.”
Still, by the end of the campaign, only six of the 31 politicians contacted had responded.