Here’s How the Ontario Government is Improving Mental Health and Addiction Services Across the Province

Published May 8, 2019 at 2:19 pm


The Ontario government is working to improve mental health and addiction services by adding more resources in communities across the province.

In a recent press release, the Ontario government noted that the province’s current mental health care system is disconnected which makes things difficult for individuals and families to get the services and care 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,” reads the release. “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.”

As a result, the government recently announced that it will be adding mental health and addiction services on the ground, in schools, along with communities and health centres across the province.

On May 6, 2019, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, along with cabinet colleagues, was at the CMHA – Toronto’s Routes Community Centre.

Here, Elliott announced that an additional $174-million in funding would be used to address the critical gaps in Ontario’s system and to support patients and families living with 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,” Elliott said in the release.

In order to ensure that mental health and addiction service providers have stable, long-term funding, this additional funding will be 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,” notes the release.

In 2019, according to the release, the 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.
  • Faster access to addictions treatment for all Ontarians.

The Ontario government plans to invest $3.8-billion over 10 years in order to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.

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