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Provincial budget commitments to mental health and addictions welcome

July 15, 2014

(Tuesday, July 15, 2014) – Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario and Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) are pleased with the provincial government’s budget commitments on issues that affect people living with mental health and addictions problems.

The budget commitments that could make a difference for Ontarians facing mental health and addictions challenges, include:

  • 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 are calling for further provincial support to Ontarians who are facing mental health and addictions challenges. “More funding specifically for supportive housing would be a step in the right direction as research shows housing with supports is a key step in recovery for individuals living with a mental health problem” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario. “We look forward to working with the government on substantive issues such as housing as Queen’s Park proceeds with its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy.” “Investments announced in the budget are welcomed and they will help promote the wellness of the individuals we serve,” said Lorne Zon, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario. “Going forward, we believe that person-centred care needs to be at the heart of years four through 10 of the government’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy. This includes making housing a priority, focusing on early identification and intervention in the community, enhancing the capacity of existing services, and promoting the mental wellness of all Ontarians.” 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.

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. -30- Contact information: Joe Kim Canadian Mental Health Association Ontario 416-977-5580, ext. 4141 Lorne Zon Addictions and Mental Health Ontario 416-490-8900 AMHO_logoCMHAON

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