The Ontario government’s proposed Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence must focus on implementing core mental health and addictions services provincially, rigorous data collection and health quality improvement initiatives, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division CEO Camille Quenneville told the province’s standing committee on social policy Friday.
These recommendations and other insights were part of Quenneville’s remarks and CMHA Ontario’s accompanying written submission to government regarding Bill 116, Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act, 2019.
Bill 116’s proposed objectives are to:
- Establish a provincial Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence to develop and maintain a mental health and addictions strategy.
- Support Ontario’s participation in British Columbia’s national class action lawsuit against more than 40 opioid manufacturers and wholesalers to recover past, present and future health care costs due to opioid-related disease, injury or illness.
On behalf of CMHA Ontario and its 30 local branches across the province, Quenneville endorsed both core elements to Bill 116. In addition to recommendations made regarding the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence, Quenneville also advised that any funds recouped from opioid manufacturers through litigation would be best directed to front-line addictions care, such as additional rapid access addiction medicine clinics or further expansion of consumption and treatment services sites.
To learn more about the perspectives Quenneville presented to government, read CMHA Ontario’s full submission to the standing committee on social policy regarding Bill 116.