Mental Health and Addictions Leaders Recognize Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week and Children’s Mental Health Week is May 3-9, 2021

Mental Health Week has always been an important time to participate in the conversation about mental health and addiction to help end the stigma and change the system for the better.

This year, with Mental Health and Children’s Mental Health Week occurring as the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge – and while more Ontarians than ever before are struggling with their mental health or an addiction – it’s even more important to use this week as a platform to discuss and address the challenges we continue to face across Ontario.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 74 per cent of Ontarians report experiencing increased mental health and addiction challenges and 42 per cent of adults have increased their substance or gambling use. The Hospital for Sick Children is also reporting that 70% of kids have a worsening of their mental health with hospitals reporting dramatic increases in the number of youth arriving at emergency departments with eating disorders and suicidality.

These are only a few examples that remind us of a stark but important message: Everything Is Not OK.

During Mental Health Week, we want to acknowledge the additional stress, pressures, loneliness, and grief many Ontarians are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. We see you; we hear you; and we feel it too.

We also want to recognize and thank everyone working on the frontlines to fight this terrible third wave of COVID-19. We are here to support you.

This year’s Mental Health Week theme is “#GetReal about how you feel.” We are encouraging all Ontarians to get real with themselves, their families, their colleagues, whether it’s talking to someone about how you’re feeling or listening to others who need your support. We are reminding you that it’s OK not to be OK. We’re urging you to reach out for help when you need it.

For Ontarians looking to join the conversation this week we encourage you to use hashtags  #GetReal and #KidsCantWait on social media and to sign our petition to support a mental health and addiction wait time strategy in Ontario:

As the leaders of Ontario’s largest mental health and addiction programs, we want you to know that we will continue to be here. We will continue to advocate for you. We will continue to be a voice for those struggling.  And we’ll work together with all our partners in the health system to deliver the mental health and addiction support Ontarians need and deserve, now more than ever.

To find out more about Mental Health Week, visit

To explore resources that might be available to you, visit

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Everything Is Not OK is a campaign launched by Ontario’s leading mental health and addiction organizations that collectively support more than one million children, youth and adults with their mental health or substance use challenges every year. The group includes: Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO), Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO), Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, The Royal, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) and the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario (CMHA). For more information, visit

1 Ontario COVID-19 Child, Youth and Adult Mental Health and Addiction Survey” conducted by Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) and Children’s Mental Health Ontario (CMHO) in May 2020 across Ontario, responded to by 1,002 individuals, 74% of respondents agree that Ontarians are “experiencing increased mental health and addiction challenges as a result of COVID-19”.

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