A new report from Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) calls on the Ontario government to adopt a seven-year plan of investment in supportive housing as the most cost-effective way to help people recovering from mental health and addictions challenges.
Ontario’s healthcare system is currently spending millions of dollars each year providing emergency room, emergency shelter and psychiatric services to people with mental health and additions issues who have no fixed address.
Noting that in Toronto alone there is a wait list of over 8,000 people for supportive housing with a 5 year wait time, the report recommends the Ontario government invest $126 million in the first year of a comprehensive plan, with annual investments of $93 million for the next six years. The plan would result in over 26,000 new units of supportive housing across the province.
“So many families in Ontario have been touched by mental illness and addictions – no one is immune. From our work providing support services we know that without adequate housing we will never solve the challenges of mental health and addictions in Ontario,” said David Kelly, AMHO’s Chief Executive Officer.
It’s time for concerted action on affordable housing.
“It’s time for concerted action on affordable housing. We urge all parties at Queens Park to support this comprehensive supportive housing plan which would result in stable housing for almost 30,000 people recovering from mental health and addictions issues, and cost savings for Ontario’s healthcare system as high needs Ontarians move off the streets and out of hospital beds into affordable housing -a key stepping stone to good mental health and wellbeing.”
Read AMHO’s report.
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is a provincial, not for profit association, representing 290 service providers from across the mental health and addictions sector in Ontario. The proposal is endorsed by the Ontario Hospital Association.