On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the Ontario Government will release the 2014-2015 Provincial Budget. CMHA Ontario will be monitoring the Budget process with a special focus on the government’s response to our pre-Budget submission which included a number of specific recommendations in support of mental health and addiction services in Ontario.
Highlights of the CMHA Ontario’s pre-budget submission to the Ontario government are below:
- Develop a Housing First model across Ontario to support marginalized populations such as people who are homeless and living with mental health and addictions issues.
- Support continued investments to and implementation of Ontario’s Long Term Affordable Housing Strategy.
- Ensure that any current and new investments in housing provide access to a range of housing options, including supportive housing, supported housing, and rent supplements for vulnerable populations, including those with mental health and addictions needs
- Incrementally increase the minimum wage of $10.25 over 5 years to reach a wage of 10% above the poverty line by 2018.
- Expand employment services to include a full range of employment readiness activities with a focus on building individual capacity and skills.
Workplace Mental Health
- Promote workplace mental health by adopting the voluntary National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace within the Ontario Public Service and all government-funded agencies.
- Support community-based programs, such as Mental Health Works, to address the mental health needs of employers and employees in the workplace.
Increase Investments to the Community Mental Health and Addictions Sector
- Increase investments to the community mental health and addictions sector by an additional 4% in fiscal 2014-15.
- Continue to invest in Ontario’s 10-year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, with a focus on the adult and seniors populations in years four to 10.
- Adopt a Health-in-All Policies approach within government policies. This will ensure that a change in one government policy does not have unintended negative consequences for marginalized individuals, including those with mental health and addictions needs.