Wayne Gates would like see around-the-clock mental health and addictions counselling programs in Niagara.

The NDP MPP for Niagara Falls is planning on tabling a motion in Queens Park tomorrow, that could secure the funding dollars to run these programs 24/7.

It would allow current mental health and addictions services to constantly remain open in Niagara Falls and St. Catharines and create a new Welland location.

Gates says help should always be accessible when people need it most.

“Front-line staff are doing everything they can to ensure that every resident of Niagara has access to mental health and addictions help when and where they need it – but they can only stretch a dollar so far. People deserve better services, and no one should ever deal with mental health struggles without the support they need. I believe this funding could help our front-line providers ensure that everyone in need of treatment can get it as soon as they need it.”

If the funding is approved, it would also establish preventative spaces for those needing help with mental health and addictions issues, who may not be in crisis. The locations would also be able to offer in person crisis intervention when necessary; something that is currently only offering around the clock over the phone.

The money would also provide resources for family members who are under stress while caring for someone with mental health and addictions issues.

Tara McKendrick, the Executive Director of CMHA Niagara, says these services are needed in our area.

“We need community-based services as an alternative to hospitals for situations that do not require hospital levels of care – that’s what this motion would achieve. Early intervention and access to mental health and addictions support to prevent crisis is extremely important – we need the resources so we can identify options, connect patients to those option and encourage recovery.”

The motion will also be debated and voted on tomorrow.



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