To The Editor:
“Today (Wednesday) is Bell ‘Let’s Talk Day’ which encourages people to have conversations about mental health to raise awareness and reduce stigma. Last Friday, the annual report from BC’s Provincial Health Officer found that the province is falling behind the rest of the country when it comes to mental health.
“The report found that kindergarten children are increasingly at risk of social and emotional problems, while young adults are reporting lower levels of mental health. Taken together, these findings reveal that families with young children need more support.
“The province’s top doctor suggested those in “generation squeeze,” ages 20 to 40, may be suffering mental health impacts because of lower incomes, higher debt, and high housing costs. Investments in childcare and improving housing affordability were suggested as ways to improve the health of young families.
“The NDP is calling on Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to take simple, impactful actions to kick-start the help that so many families need -- like investing in half a million units of quality, affordable housing within a decade, giving low-income renters help now with a rental subsidy in the next budget and helping first-time homebuyers with closing costs by doubling the Home Buyer’s tax credit.
“Parents have also waited too long for the government to act on ensuring high quality, affordable daycare is available to all and families are suffering. The government needs to invest in the mental health of children and families by making early childhood education a priority in the 2019 federal budget.”
Wayne Stetski, Member of Parliament, Kootenay-- Columbia