NDP MPP Armstrong demands Liberal government listen to students calling for action to stop youth suicide crisis

During Question Period today, Teresa Armstrong, NDP MPP for London-Fanshawe, demanded that Acting Premier, Deb Matthews, listen to students who have walked out of classes demanding mental health support to deal with a youth suicide crisis in Woodstock and Oxford County.

“Today, students at Woodstock secondary schools are walking out of their classrooms to send this government a clear message to stop the suicide crisis before another life is lost,” Armstrong said.

“Will the Acting Premier listen to these students who are walking out of classes in protest this morning and commit to immediately increasing mental health resources in Woodstock and Oxford County?”

The communities of Woodstock and Oxford County are currently battling an ongoing crisis with youth suicides.  Since the start of this year, at least five youth under the age of 20 have committed suicide. And 20 others have attempted suicide. 

“For years, we’ve been telling this government that London and surrounding communities are facing serious shortages in mental health supports and services,” Armstrong said.  “In my riding alone, mental health patients are sleeping on emergency rooms floors, facing shuttered facilities, over-capacity clinics, and group home deaths.” 

Armstrong demanded the Liberal government re-evaluate the way it is delivering mental health services in this province. “Not one more death or suicide is acceptable,” Armstrong said. “Students in Woodstock are so frustrated about the lack of mental health supports that they’re walking out of class this morning.  Even our children are clear that this government is failing them.”

“Will the Acting Premier commit to immediately providing the supports, services, and staff that the communities of Woodstock and Oxford County need to stop this youth suicide crisis?” Armstrong said.