A variety of Niagara mental health services, including a Grimsby-based addictions centre, will receive approximately $195,000 of the $14.75 million that the Ontario government is spending to increase access to mental health and addiction services in the province.
Premier Doug Ford and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, announced the investment on Sept. 10 in Sudbury. It supports the needs of various groups who have faced significant hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, including families, frontline workers, and Indigenous communities.
“Mental health is just as important as physical health,” said Ford at the announcement. “Everyone, including our heroic frontline workers, can experience burnout, depression, or anxiety. Even though you may feel alone or helpless, we want you to know that we have your back.”
The investment will help community-based mental health and addictions programs meet increasing service demands. The MHO is focused on bringing more support online. Funds distributed will help to expand internet therapy services and enable service continuity in a way that’s safe and accessible.
Administering funds in the region is the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Local Health Integration Network. It will allocate the funds to the following regional groups:
- Community Addictions Services of Niagara, located at the West Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Grimsby, will receive $13,100 to support virtual service delivery.
- ARID Group Homes in Fort Erie will receive $27,075 to support virtual service delivery and revenue shortfall due to public health restrictions on occupancy.
- Canadian Mental Health Association Niagara, headquartered in Niagara Falls, will receive $94,214 to support 24/7 staffing at congregate living due to Public Health guidance, and security cameras for front and back entrances.
- Consumer Survivor Initiative in Welland will receive $17,590 to support virtual service delivery and peer support service staffing enhancement.
- Oak Centre Mental Health in Welland will receive $25,628 for additional staffing hours and cleaning supplies.
- Wayside House of St. Catharines will receive $3,200 for cleaning supplies.
Ford said: “If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to some of the amazing mental health and addictions agencies in your local community. They are caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable people, who can help.”