Ahead of the Ontario government’s 2020 budget unveiling, the provincial Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs has included a number of Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario Division’s recommendations in a report to the legislature.
The committee’s Pre-Budget Consultation 2020 report summarizes key recommendations made by agencies and individuals from around the province on how government should allocate funds over the next fiscal year. Related to mental health and addictions, the committee highlighted four key CMHA Ontario recommendations for government, specifically that:
- It should prioritize community-based, 24-hour, crisis programs and mobile crisis intervention teams
- The base budget of CMHA branches should be increased by three per cent
- CMHA Ontario commended the provincial government for establishing the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within Ontario Health and asked that it focus on developing core mental health and addictions services, a comprehensive data and performance measurement strategy, and quality improvement supports for community-based agencies
- CMHA Ontario asked that the province create at least 30,000 units over the next 10 years
This year’s provincial budget, which drops March 25, will be watched particularly closely by the mental health and addictions community as it comes three weeks after the government released its new strategy to improve mental health and addictions services in Ontario, entitled Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System.
A coalition of Ontario’s leading mental health and addictions organizations, including CMHA Ontario, says the success of this new strategy to tackle wait times and expand services relies on annual investments of $380 million in front-line delivery. Read the coalition’s statement.