The Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council has identified youth, housing, quality and Indigenous partnerships as the four key areas of progress in 2016. The findings were noted in the council’s second annual report, Moving Forward: Better Mental Health Means Better Health. The report was released by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care coinciding with a Feb. 8 announcement of $140 million investment towards mental health and addictions over the next three years.
The council focused on three strategic considerations in the development of its recommendations: to promote, prevent, and intervene early; to close critical service gaps; and to build foundations for system transformation.
These considerations led to the council making three key recommendations to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care:
- To work collaboratively with other ministries and stakeholders to promote, prevent and intervene early across the lifespan. Such investments are known to have the highest returns on mental health spending in terms of cost savings in education, justice and health care sectors.
- To address the chronic service gaps in youth addictions, psychotherapy and supportive housing. The Council highlights that current gaps in service capacity for youth addictions, in addition to establishing service standards and referral pathways for psychotherapy services, must be addressed urgently. Additionally, to close the gap in existing supportive housing, the Council recommends creating at least 30,000 units of supportive housing over 10 years.
- To undertake steps toward large-scale system transformation by leveraging and building on the work of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services to achieve a seamless transition for children and youth to the adult system.
Read the complete report on the Government of Ontario website.