The provincial government has officially established its proposed Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within Ontario Health.
Formalized by the proclamation of the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act on Feb. 18, the province says this centre will serve as the foundation for improving the availability and quality of mental health and addictions services in Ontario. According to the Ministry of Health, the centre will do this by:
- Acting as a central point of oversight for mental health and addictions care
- Standardizing and monitoring the quality and delivery of evidence-based services and clinical care
- Working with sector experts, community-based providers, people with lived experience, families, caregivers and clinical researchers to create a consistent set of services and standards
- Providing support and resources to Ontario Health Teams as they connected patients to the mental health and addictions services they need
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division and branches support the government’s stated mandate for the centre of excellence, which includes focus on rigorous data collection, quality improvement initiatives and core services implementation. The centre is expected to help integrate mental health and addictions care into all parts of the health care system, which aligns with CMHA Ontario’s call to better integrate primary and mental health and addictions services to create more efficient pathways to care and greater access to services.
Investments for the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence that focus on establishing core mental health and addictions services, a comprehensive data and performance measurement strategy for the mental health and addictions sector, and quality improvement supports, especially for community-based mental health and addictions agencies, were among the key recommendations in CMHA Ontario’s 2020 pre-budget submission.