Toronto’s mayor says the city should consider putting mental health professionals on the transit system

Mayor John Tory says the city should look into putting mental health professionals on the transportation system because of growing safety concerns.

Tory made the comment at a news conference on Thursday, a day after a man was allegedly assaulted at Bloor-Yonge Station in what police have described as a “suspected hate-motivated crime”.

Tory didn’t specifically attribute the most recent incident to mental health issues, but he did say that “the vast majority” of people “causing anxiety in the transportation system are people suffering from mental illness” who simply “need some support “. ”

“I think one of the things I should consider further is whether we also put some mental health professionals in the transportation system to help support people with mental health issues,” he said. “These are not people who want to harm, but they will sometimes cause fear. So I listened to that and experienced that. And that might be one of the points I need to reconsider.”

A series of TTC attacks in recent months has resulted in calls for increased security measures.

Last month, two women were stabbed in a random attack at High Park station, killing one and seriously injuring the other. The following week, a group of up to 10 girls between the ages of 13 and 16 allegedly assaulted several people at several TTC subway stations.

Tory has already proposed increasing the TTC’s grant by $53 million in 2023, in part to hire an additional 50 special agents and additional street workers.

“The TTC is a place where people should expect to be safe,” Tory said of the latest incident on Thursday. “The police are treating it as a hate crime and I agree. And to begin with I have to say that these kinds of acts that are happening in our city are so against the values ​​of Torontonians.

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