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TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO:
WHEREAS: in Ontario, as many as one in five new mothers experience some type of maternal mental illness, such as perinatal mood and anxiety disorder, during pregnancy and in the first 12 months following childbirth;
WHEREAS: people who give birth of every culture, age, income level and race can develop perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Additionally, marginalized populations, such as LGBTQ2S+ people, members of the Indigenous community, the Black community and other racialized communities, adolescents, mothers with histories of substance use, immigrants, refugees, and individuals with disabilities, may experience maternal mental illness at higher rates;
WHEREAS: maternal mental illness is treatable and the negative impacts can be mitigated with timely access to diagnosis, treatment and support services, however, up to 85 per cent of mothers with maternal mental illnesses go untreated;
WHEREAS the Province of Ontario is lagging behind other jurisdictions in providing a comprehensive system of culturally appropriate accessible perinatal mental health services;
THEREFORE WE, we the undersigned petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to review the state of maternal mental health in Ontario and implement a Provincial Framework and Action Plan, in addition to proclaiming the first Wednesday in May of each year as Maternal Mental Health Day in the Province of Ontario.