Ontario is making an unprecedented investment in mental health and addictions that will improve care for the one in three people in Ontario who experience mental health or addictions challenges in their lifetime.
Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne visited the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto to announce the biggest provincial investment in Canadian history in mental health and addictions services — a four-year investment of $2.1 billion that will reframe the system to deliver more accessible and better integrated care.
The investment will make it easier to access services through a local school, family doctor’s office or community-based organization. This will mean:
These historic investments will help reduce wait lists and make it easier for people to access the care they need when they need it. By 2021, people will also be able to quickly get a mental health and addictions screening, crisis counselling and referral services through whichever method they choose through a new help line — online, by text or on the phone.
This historic investment in mental health and addictions care is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
“We know there can be no health without mental health. No one in Ontario should struggle to access mental health or addictions care for themselves or their loved ones. We are making a deliberate choice with this historic investment to shorten wait times and improve access to vital mental health and addictions care. We are working to ensure that whatever your age and wherever you live in our province, you’ll have fast and easy access to care that’s right for you.”
–– Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Our government’s historic investment in mental health and addictions takes a comprehensive approach, ensuring Ontarians are supported across their lifespan, no matter what their needs may be. This investment and clear strategy demonstrates our government’s commitment to the mental wellness of Ontarians, recognizing that physical and mental wellness must go hand-in-hand for Ontarians to live their best lives.”
–– Dr. Helena Jaczek, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“It is so important to make sure children and youth have access to quality mental health supports. These investments will provide more young people with the care they need when they need it and strengthen mental health supports across Ontario. This funding will have an immediate impact on young people’s lives, and will set the stage for important and necessary long-term changes.”
–– Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services
“We know many young people in Ontario are facing serious mental health challenges in their daily lives. We must equip educators and students with the tools and resources they need to identify, recognize and access support for potential mental health and addictions issues so our young people can lead happy, healthy lives. This investment ensures that all students have access to the supports they need to succeed both inside and outside the classroom.”
–– Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care
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