The Ontario Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions has released its final report, which includes 23 recommendations for action.
The report contains two key recommendations. The first is the creation of Mental Health and Addictions Ontario, an umbrella organization responsible to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC), to ensure that a single body will design, manage and coordinate the mental health and addictions system, and that programs and services are delivered consistently and comprehensively across the province. The committee also recommends the consolidation of all mental health and addictions programs and services in the MOHLTC, including those for children and youth.
Additional recommendations address:
- The availability of a core basket of services in all regions of the province;
- Access to system navigators to connect people to appropriate treatment and community supports and services;
- Provision of safe and affordable housing units;
- Involvement of peer support workers in all aspects of service delivery and use of the Ontario Peer Development Initiative’s Peer Support Toolkit Project in accreditation of peer support workers;
- Increased respite care to provide more support for families and caregivers;
- Creation of a task force to examine Ontario’s mental health legislation and propose changes to privacy legislation to ensure that family members and caregivers have access to personal health information necessary to provide support; and
- A review of the implementation and progress on these recommendations to be completed within two years.
The Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions first met on February 24, 2009 to consider and report on “its observations and recommendations concerning a comprehensive provincial mental health and addictions strategy.” The committee, which includes representation from all three political parties, conducted extensive consultations in the 18 months prior to releasing its final report.
See “Navigating the Journey to Wellness: The Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan for Ontarians,” August 2010, available at www.ontla.on.ca.
An interim report, released by the Select Committee on March 31, 2010, is also available at www.ontla.on.ca.