Reducing wait times and investing $20 million in publicly-funded cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for Ontarians are just a few of the highlights of the government’s newly released Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System.
Health Minister Christine Elliott unveiled the roadmap at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences on March 3rd, touting the strategy’s four pillars: 1) improving quality of care; 2) expanding existing services; 3) innovative solutions; and 4) improving access.
CMHA Ontario applauds several aspects of the strategy, including: the creation of a core services framework to help develop standard programs across the province; its focus on data collection and quality improvement; its commitment to supportive housing and supports for first responders and those involved in the justice system.
However, CMHA Ontario and a coalition of publicly-funded mental health and addictions service providers warn that the government’s new roadmap can only be successful if it’s accompanied by significant investment in front-line service delivery.
In a statement, the coalition is calling for $380 million in annualized funding, particularly at a time when hospitals are facing a hallway health care crisis and Ontarians are left on long wait lists for mental health and addictions services.