The Ontario government said Wednesday it will be investing an additional $176 million to expand access to mental health and addiction supports during COVID-19.
“Today’s ongoing investment not only delivers on our government’s historic commitment to invest billions in mental health over 10 years, but it will also provide care for thousands of people, including frontline health workers and first responders, who need such critical supports during these challenging times,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.
The funding will be sued to expand and support services in priority areas. These include community-based services, mental health, and justice services. It will also help fund supportive housing for individuals with serious mental health and addictions challenges, support for indigenous communities, and the addition of hospital in-patient beds for mental health and addiction patients.
The funding will also be targeting community and residential addiction services including:
- $4 million for nurse practitioners for detox services to support clients going through withdrawal.
- $8 million for addictions day and evening care to increase access to intensive non-residential addiction and substance use treatment services.
- $3.5 million for in-home and mobile withdrawal management services.
- Over $900,000 to add four more inpatient beds at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).
“By making these investments, our government is making it easier for people to find and access high-quality mental health and addictions services when and where they need them,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott in a release.
The funding is part of the mental health plan, A Roadmap To Wellness, that involves an investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years to build and support a comprehensive mental health and addictions system. This year’s $176 million investment builds on the $174 million invested last year to help fill gaps in mental health and addiction services. It brings the 2019-2020 total to over $350 million.
“I’ve stood at this podium many times to reach out to anyone that is listening…if you need help, if you need someone to talk to, please reach out to one of these services. That goes for our frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and veterans as well. You are not alone! We all have a responsibility to look after each other and together we will get through this,” said Ford.