The provincial government is making good on a $174 million budget commitment to community mental health and addictions services this year, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Christine Elliott announced Monday morning at Canadian Mental Health Association, Toronto’s Routes Community Centre.
Elliott was joined at CMHA Toronto’s Routes site by fellow cabinet ministers Raymond Cho (Seniors and Accessibility), Steve Clark (Municipal Affairs and Housing), Merrilee Fullerton (Training, Colleges and Universities), and Sylvia Jones (Solicitor General), as well her parliamentary assistant for health and long term care, Robin Martin. Elliott said funding will go toward front-line services in schools, communities and health centres across the province to address critical gaps in Ontario’s system and to support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges.
To ensure mental health and addiction service providers have stable, long-term funding, the government will be making this additional funding available every year.
Included in the $174 million commitment, Elliott specified that $30 million will go toward child and youth services, and $27 million will fund supports in the education system. Elliott also noted more money will go toward housing supports and mobile crisis intervention teams.
This additional investment is part of the government’s $3.8 billion commitment to mental health and addictions services over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy.
Monday’s announcement aligns with recommendations CMHA Ontario made in its 2019 pre-budget submission to government, which specifically included direct investments in supportive housing and expansion of mobile crisis intervention teams.