SSO's Advocacy

Jan  31 2019

Since our inception in 1979, the Schizophrenia Society of Ontario (SSO) has provided information about emerging issues, advocacy opportunities and ways that everyone can get involved to improve the mental health and addiction system and make a positive difference in the lives of people, families and communities affected by schizophrenia and psychosis.

Our advocacy work has focused on community-based mental health services and supports, supportive housing for people with mental illness, access to medication, diversion programs and corrections reform, education relating to the recent legalization of cannabis, and caregiver support. We have seen many improvements but there is still much more work to be done.
 
What we’re doing today
The provincial government has launched its 2019 pre-budget consultations where organizations can have input into funding areas important to them. Recently, we asked our stakeholders via survey about what areas in the budget are important to help us represent your needs to our government partners. For this year’s budget, SSO will focus on advocating for support that can improve mental health care for individuals impacted by schizophrenia or psychosis. Our recommendations to this year’s budget will be public on January 29, 2019.

Recently, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announced proposed changes to income security, including changes to the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) and Ontario Works. These changes will affect benefit limits and exemptions and will include a revision to the definition of disability used by ODSP, to align with the federal definition, and are expected to take place over the next 18 months. We are still waiting for details on what these changes will mean for recipients of ODSP and their continued eligibility for the program.

In the meantime, we will continue our advocacy for income security for people and families affected by schizophrenia and psychosis and will be working with other mental health organizations in Ontario to provide feedback to the government on the impact of the proposed reforms to income security. If you missed the chance to give us your feedback in our pre-budget submission survey, you can still share your thoughts on reforms to income security by emailing: kboyd@schizophrenia.on.ca