Ontario investing over $37M to expand mental health services in the justice system

Premier Doug Ford during today's press conference at Queen's Park. Ontario Premier Doug Ford at today's press conference in Queen's Park to announce investment to expand mental health services across the justice system.

The Ontario government is investing $37 million to expand mental health services in the justice system by expanding mobile crisis teams, hiring additional staff, and creating tailored programs for First Nations communities.

This expansion is part of the $176 million invested in the Roadmap to Wellness plan to improve the mental health and additions system, and a component of Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.

“Ontario’s police officers respond to tens of thousands of mental health calls a year and we need to make sure they have the right training, as well as extra support from professional mental health workers to respond to these calls, and save lives,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

“Our government is working collaboratively across all sectors to provide long-term stability to our mental health and addictions system, including our justice system,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott.

This builds on the investments made through the Roadmap to Wellness plan to support individuals struggling with mental health and addiction challenges. These include:

  • Over $6.5 million for mobile crisis services.
  • $5 million for safe bed programs to support mobile crisis teams.
  • Over $14 million for supportive housing programs for justice-involved individuals.
  • $2 million for addictions/withdrawal specialists to support safe beds.
  • $4 million for enhanced addictions programming within adult correctional institutions. 
  • $2 million for mental health and addictions peer support for offenders under community supervision. 
  • $2.25 million for corrections peer support program. 
  • $1.1 million for mental health and addiction supports to vulnerable and marginalized persons as part of the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Justice Centres. 

In addition to these investments, Ontario is also building evidence-based research on post-traumatic stress disorder and occupational stress injury to better understand and support our frontline heroes struggling with these challenges.

More info:

Original new release
Press conference video
Roadmap to Wellness plan
Ontario’s Action Plan