The Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council is leading the development of “Core Services” for mental health and addictions in Ontario. The Council’s Core Services task group commenced meeting in December 2015 with the objectives to:
- Develop focused recommendations outlining the services that all Ontarians should be able to access that includes an accountability structure.
- Define core Mental Health and Addictions services for Ontario based on international best practices.
- Conduct a current state/gap analysis of existing services on the proposed list.
- Validate the proposed core services list with consumers and service providers.
- Develop service standards for the core services selected.
Core services for mental health and addictions
The concept of identifying ‘core’ mental health and addictions services for Ontario is not new. It was initially proposed in 2010 by the Select Committee on Mental Health and Addictions of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Select Committee had recommended the creation of “core institutional, residential and community services that should be available in every region of the province for clients of all ages.” Similarly, in 2012, as part of its Moving on Mental Health strategy, Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services had also identified the need for “core mental health services that will be available in communities across Ontario, with other specialized services available regionally or provincially.”
Creating core services addresses the key question of which mental health and addictions services ought to be provided in a high-performing system. Elements of a system consisting of a core services are based on identifying a set of ‘essential’ (“core”) services that span both community and hospital systems and recognizing that those core services:
- have dedicated funding support
- are available, (i.e. capacity with low wait times for all Ontarians who need the services)
- are accessible in all regions of the province, (i.e. provided locally, or having access to out of area services, such as residential addiction treatment; tertiary psychiatric inpatient services)
In the Council’s 2016 annual report, Moving Forward: Better Mental Health Means Better Health, the following core services were recommended for implementation across Ontario:
Read the complete report on the Government of Ontario website.