Ontario Expanding Access to Mental Health (MOHLTC, November 2014)

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care released a statement on November 25th, 2014 regarding access to mental health services in the province, as well as an update on their 2011 Comprehensive Mental Health Strategy. A copy of the MOHLTC release is provided below.
Ontario Expanding Strategy to Address Mental Health Issues – Ontario to Reduce Wait Times and Appoint Leadership Council
The Ministry of Health is helping more people access co-ordinated mental health services when and where they need them by moving forward on the next phase of its mental health strategy, establishing a Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and increasing support to community mental health service partners.

The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, launched in 2011 with a focus on children and youth, provided more than 50,000 additional children and youth with access to mental health and addiction services.  The strategy is now expanding to support the transition between youth and adult services, and to improve the quality of services for Ontarians of all ages.

The next phase of the strategy includes:

  • A $2.75 million investment to improve access to mental health care and reduce wait times at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health in Penetanguishene, the Royal in Ottawa and Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Services in Whitby
  • Investing $16 million to create 1,000 more supportive housing spaces over the next three years, as part of the Poverty Reduction Strategy
  • Improving supports for youth with eating disorders through a pilot program with Ontario Shores, which will open a new 12-bed paediatric residential treatment unit treating 32 patients per year
  • Partnering with the province’s public health units to increase awareness, fight stigma and promote mental health in schools and in the workplace
  • Developing a funding model — based on advice from the new advisory council — to improve outcomes, deliver higher quality care, and ensure that programs are better tailored to the needs of local communities

The new Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, chaired by Susan Pigott, a leading expert in the field of mental health and community development, will advise government on implementing the next phase of the strategy. The council will provide advice on the strategy’s investments, promote collaboration across sectors and report annually on the strategy’s progress.

Ontario is also providing $138 million over three years through the 2014 Budget to community service agencies to help increase access to services such as peer support groups, treatment programs, and crisis and early intervention initiatives.

For further detail please see the initial release and related support documents.