Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

MPP Fife and Kitchener-Waterloo family call for immediate solutions for mental health support in Ontario

Published on April 8, 2024
support in Ontario
QUEEN’S PARK – MPP Catherine Fife (Waterloo) joined the Roth family at Queen’s Park today to present a petition with almost 7,000 signatures calling for increased mental health services in Ontario.

“Our mental health system is failing young people in Waterloo and across Ontario,” said Fife. “When young people reach out for help, they are too often confronted with long wait times and complicated systems that don’t meet their needs. It’s led to countless preventable tragedies.”

Fife has been working with the Roth family since 2022 when their daughter Kaitlyn died by suicide while she was a student at the University of Waterloo.

The Roths have been tireless in their advocacy ever since, meeting with countless organizations to advocate for change that will prevent others from being failed by the system in the way Kaitlyn was.

“When someone has the courage to reach out for help, we need to ensure that consistent, evidence-based, trauma-informed care is accessible to them no matter where they are in Ontario,” said Fife. “This is a non-partisan issue, and I call on the government today to step up to the plate. We cannot lose any more lives to mental illness.”

Fife’s petition calls for three key solutions for improved mental health support:
  • Dedicated training for staff who provide mental health services with a focus on evidence-based, trauma-informed approach
  • A review of intake and discharge procedures to ensure consistency of care
  • Immediate funding for Alternate Destination Clinics in communities across Ontario.
Mike Roth, parent
“Kaitlyn really wanted to get better. I think that’s such an important message – I remember sitting on the couch with her and we’d phone various service providers, and she was advocating for herself. And it’s hard to receive that no, sorry, you don’t qualify. No, sorry, there’s a 1 to 2 year wait list. She had a really, really hard time getting the care she needed.”

Eric Philip, CEO of Thresholds Homes and Supports
We witness first hand the impact of our healthcare system struggling to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people in our community. An emergency room is not the right place to care for an individual during a mental health crisis; we need progressive, impactful solutions, as this petition is requesting. Kitchener-Waterloo and communities across Ontario desperately need alternate destination clinics. We have seen their success and are asking government to provide funding to expand their reach.”

Senator Marty Deacon 
"I have witnessed firsthand and listened to the experiences of the Roth family and other families in Waterloo Region. These experiences are a reminder of the urgent need for compassionate, consistent and caring responses at all levels of intervention, support and recovery. Supporting this petition is a strong step forward."