Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario was among the organizations selected to appear at the first consultation session held by the legislature’s finance and economic affairs committee in Toronto.
CMHA Ontario had three requests for the committee.
The first was for a three percent increase in base funding for all 30 CMHA branches in Ontario. This amounts to $7.3 billion in additional investment from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Branches are struggling to juggle demands for service and operational costs, given many of the agencies haven’t received budget increases in as many as eight years.
CMHA Ontario’s second recommendation is to increase the share of the health budget earmarked for mental health and addictions. In 2017, 3. 5 percent of a $54 billion health budget went to mental health and addictions care. CMHA Ontario is asking to increase the share to nine per cent, which is a recommendation from the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s mental health strategy.
Given the importance of safe, affordable housing to a person’s recovery, the third CMHA Ontario request is the construction of 30,000 new housing units over the next 10 years at a rate of 3,000 a year. This recommendation comes from the provincially-appointed Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, which has spent three years examining the pressing needs of the mental health and addictions system.
Read a summary of CMHA Ontario’s pre-budget submission.