Contributing to the anticipation is the fact that the provincial and federal governments signed a Health Accord agreement in March that earmarked $1.9 billion over 10 years to fund mental health services.
CMHA Ontario is hopeful for significant increased investment and in its 2017 pre-budget submission, calls on the government to provide:
- An increase in overall funding to the mental health and addiction sector, which receives less than seven percent of an entire $51 billion health budget. This is in spite of the fact that the overall burden of mental illness is 1.5 times that of all cancersand seven times that of all infectious diseases.
- An increase in base operating budgets for CMHA’s 30 local branches; many haven’t received increases for five to seven years.
- An investment in a defined set of core mental health and addictions services so that Ontarians can get the same services no matter where they live.
- A significant increase to access to psychotherapy, a cost-effective way to help Ontarians maintain their mental health.
- Greater access to supportive housing. The Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, a government-appointed body, recommends 30,000 new units over the next decade.
- An investment in a data and performance measurement strategy. A system wide data and performance approach would be valuable to help measure the success, gaps and opportunities in the sector.
Read CMHA Ontario’s 2017 pre-budget submission for further details about its recommendations.