In case you missed it last week, Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has come to two health funding agreements with Health Canada that have solidified previous commitments made to home and community care and mental health and addictions services.
In the Shared Health Priorities Agreement, Health Canada will provide Ontario with $2.3 billion for home and community care and $1.9 billion for mental health and addictions over the next 10 years. The Opioids Agreement, meanwhile, will provide Ontario with $51.1 million this year to improve access to addictions and treatment services.
This comes after all three of Ontario’s major political parties made similar funding pledges for mental health and addictions services leading up to the 2018 provincial election. The agreements also follow through on Ottawa’s commitment to mental health and addictions services as well as home and community care, announced in the federal 2017 budget.
In the announcement of these agreements, the ministry confirmed the Ontario government is committed to investing $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.
The priorities for the new funding include:
- Expanding access to community-based mental health and addiction services for children and youth
- Improving access to structured psychotherapy and counselling support programs for people with anxiety and depression
- Expanding addictions services for adults, with a focus on addressing the use of opioids, alcohol and cannabis
- Increasing access to early psychosis intervention programs
- Improving existing mental health and addiction services and creating new services for minority and marginalized populations
Read the full Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announcement