Goldstein: We're talking about mental illness but cutting the programs needed to address it

Robin Williams. (Reuters files)

Robin Williams. (Reuters files)

Lorrie Goldstein, Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

If there’s anything positive to come out of Robin Williams’ suicide, it’s that we’re talking more openly about depression and mental illness.

The same thing is happening because of efforts like Bell’s annual “Let’s Talk” day — featuring prominent Canadians like Clara Hughes and Seamus O’Regan talking about their own experiences with depression and thus helping to destigmatize it.

But there’s one thing we haven’t been talking about which is that addressing mental illness through an already overburdened health care system costs money and that governments have in fact been cutting back.

I’ve written about my experiences with clinical depression and urged people to get help.

But there has to be treatment available and in Toronto these days, it’s hard even to find a psychiatrist who is taking new patients.

Hospital and outpatient programs are few and far between and waiting lists, long.


Videos

Photos