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Ontario’s mental health, addictions leaders welcome Provincial government’s commitment to the MH&A Sector

May 2, 2014

Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, which combined represent more than 300 community-based MH&A organizations across the province, are pleased with the following commitments in the budget:

  • A two-year, $148-million investment in Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which is being expanded to include improved transitions between youth and adult services, and support for adults and those living with addiction issues.
  • Enhanced annual funding for the Community Homeless Prevention Initiative (CHPI) by $42 million starting in 2014/2015 to a total of $294 million. CHPI is part of the government’s Long-Term Affordable Housing Strategy, which allows municipalities flexibility to address local housing priorities.
  • A $50-million investment over five years to create a new poverty reduction fund targeted at supporting local solutions to poverty, including raising social assistance rates.
  • A Fair Minimum Wage legislation that will index minimum wage to Ontario’s Consumer Price Index beginning in October 2015.

However, CMHA Ontario and AMHO believes more can be done to support Ontarians with mental health and addictions issues.

“We’re pleased the government recognizes the importance of the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario. “However, additional investments in affordable housing would be welcome as it’s a critical component for recovery for individuals living with mental health or addictions issues.”

“The complexity of mental health and addiction issues requires a concerted effort and government focus,” said David Kelly, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario.  “Many of the budget initiatives have the opportunity to impact and improve people’s lives but a more coordinated approach that includes the many vulnerable people in the process is needed to ensure the impact of these investments.”

Key Mental Health Facts:

  • In any given year, one in five Canadians will experience a mental health and/or addiction issue.
  • Each year, more than half a million children, youth and adults receive support and treatment from community mental health and addictions organizations in Ontario.
  • The economic cost of mental health to Canada is at least $50 billion per year, which represents 2.8% of Canada’s 2011 gross domestic product (GDP).

About CMHA Ontario:

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) works toward a single mission: to make mental health possible for all. The vision of CMHA Ontario is a society that believes mental health is the key to well-being. CMHA Ontario works closely with 31 local branches in communities across the province to ensure the quality delivery of services to approximately 50,000 individuals each year in the areas of mental health, addictions, dual diagnosis and concurrent disorders. Through policy analysis and implementation, agenda setting, research, evaluation and knowledge exchange, we work to improve the lives of people with mental health and addictions conditions and their families. 

About AMHO:

Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is a provincial, not-for-profit charity, representing service providers from across the mental health and addictions sector in Ontario. AMHO is widely recognized as the authoritative voice of mental health and addictions issues in Ontario and is dedicated to advancing the quality of care and services accessible to individuals. Our goal is to ensure that all Ontarians can access the services and supports they need to address substance misuse and mental health issues, fostering dignity and accountability to those it serves. We proudly support and encourage over 280 mental health and addiction service and support agencies across Ontario in giving hope and transforming lives with those living with mental health and addiction issues. The services offered by these agencies play a vital role in the health of all Ontarians.

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Contact information:

Joe Kim
Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario
416-977-5580, ext. 4141
jkim@ontario.cmha.ca

Stephanie Johnston
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
416-490-8900, ext. 2
Stephanie.johnston@addictionsandmentalhealthontario.ca

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Read 2014/15 Budget Highlights

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