Ontario Adding More Mental Health and Addiction Services in Communities Across the ProvincePublished on May 27, 2019
TORONTO — Ontario's mental health care system is disconnected, making it difficult for patients and families to get the care and services they need. This leaves many vulnerable Ontarians to navigate a confusing system on their own and access timely mental health care only when in crisis. Too many Ontarians wait too long for the mental health and addictions services they need. This fragmented approach to care is failing Ontario's families and is simply not good enough.
In response, Ontario's Government for the People is adding desperately needed mental health and addictions services on the ground, in schools, communities and health centres across the province.
Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, was joined by cabinet colleagues at CMHA - Toronto's Routes Community Centre to announce an additional $174 million in funding to address the critical gaps in Ontario's system and to support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges. To ensure mental health and addiction service providers have stable, long-term funding, the government will be making this additional funding available every year.
Included in the overall investment of $174 million is nearly $30 million for child and youth mental health services and programs across Ontario, as well as more than $27 million to fund mental health supports in Ontario's education system, which will directly benefit schools, teachers and, most importantly, students and their parents.
"Our government is keeping our promise to make mental health and addictions a priority," said Elliott. "That's why we're taking a cross-government approach to solving Ontario's mental health and addictions challenges. This funding will go directly towards services for patients and families and help reduce wait times, enhance opioids and addictions services, create additional housing, build capacity in child and youth mental health, support our men and women in uniform and add services for seniors, Francophones and Ontario's Indigenous people."
“The opioid crisis is a battle we must fight on all possible fronts. From mandating Naloxone training for Police officers, to providing pro-active support to people and communities who are at risk for mental illness and addictions, we can leave no stone unturned.” Said Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre. “The additional funding and newly modernized and structured approach to health care will allow a much-needed focus on child and youth mental health services and programs. It demonstrates our government’s commitment to protecting what matters most.”
This year's additional mental health and addiction funding will include:
- Providing children and youth with earlier and faster mental health and addictions help at schools and in the community;
- More housing support for people who are homeless and face mental health and addictions issues;
- New mobile crisis teams that will help police officers and other first responders manage sensitive situations when assisting people with severe mental illness; and
- Faster access to addictions treatment for all Ontarians.
"These investments are part of our government's commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy," said Elliott. "Together, we will create a connected system of care with comprehensive wrap-around services to ensure that every Ontarian is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness."
- Investments in mental health and addictions services is part of Ontario’s plan to modernize our public health care system, which relentlessly focuses on patient experience and better connected care, to reduce wait times and end hallway health care.
- The government has held 19 consultations across the province with mental health and addictions community organizations, frontline service providers, hospitals, advocates, experts, people with lived experience and people with experience in Indigenous mental health and addictions.
- The government will invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.