Dear Neighbour,

It's Mental Health Week.

COVID-19 has been stressful for everyone and so it’s important that we take time to care for ourselves
. I’ve highlighted below some self-care tips that might be of help. Official provincial resources can be found here.

At the provincial level, I have joined the call urging the Ford government to start planning now for the surge in demand for mental health and addiction support and services that will result from the stress and trauma from COVID-19. Today, the government announced the expansion of virtual mental health services which is a step in the right direction but a lot more funding is needed.

As well, we are learning that Toronto is dealing with a spike in overdoses as paramedics are received a record number of calls in March. It is clear that we are facing two public health crises simultaneously: COVID-19 and the overdose crisis. This is having a ripple effect on our healthcare system that is already under stress. It’s not only a crisis for those facing dependency challenges but is putting frontline healthcare responders under greater pressure. I have asked the Ford government to look at all options including what other jurisdictions are doing to help people. The BC model with their new clinical guidelines has been a great example and with other public health measures in place, has consistently seen overdoses drop significantly. I am glad that former Liberal leader John Fraser and Green leader Mike Schreiner echo my call. We cannot have one public health crisis compound another.

Finally, my mantra is always prevention is better than cure. It is not only better for people’s health but also cheaper in the long run. So we need to take a preventative approach and promote mental well being. We can do that by taking action on the social determinants of mental health -- affordable housing, clean and healthy environment, fair wages, dignified social support etc. Remember, we can only achieve a healthy society by building a just society.

As always, wash your hands, stay home (except if you must work), wear a mask if you go out, be kind. We are all in this together.


Bhutila Karpoche,
MPP for Parkdale—High Park
Self-care tips

COVID-19 is stressful for everyone. It is important we take time to care for ourselves. Here are four self-care tips that might help you:

  • Take breaks. Unplug from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
These two are what my self-care looks like!
Provincial government announcements
  • Ontario is calling for a national plan for contact tracing of COVID-19. Premier Ford has said he has spoken to the federal government about the proposal and will make the case to provincial and territorial leaders this week.
  • Premier Ford will have “a conference call with all the mayors in cottage country” later this week to discuss allowing Ontarians to visit cottages at the beginning of cottage season on Victoria Day.
  • Through an emergency order, the Ontario government has deferred a portion of Global Adjustment (GA) charges for industrial and commercial electricity consumers that do not participate in the Regulated Price Plan for the period starting from April 2020.
  • Ontario issued new temporary emergency orders in health care that will:
    • Give hospitals the authority and flexibility to more quickly appoint, re-appoint and grant privileges to medical and other professional staff, in order to address potential surge volumes due to COVID-19.
    • Authorize coroners, registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators, and public health units to access the provincial electronic health record.
    • Allow registered nurses appointed as coroner investigators to complete medical certificates of death.
Reminder: For the most up-to-date information please visit Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Contact information is available on my website here.
Community Office
While our office will be closing to the public as part of our efforts to manage the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to provide services for constituents via phone and email. Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this time. 

Phone: 416-763-5630
Copyright © 2020 MPP for Parkdale—High Park, All rights reserved.

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