A new report identifies gaps that are hindering the effectiveness of Ontario’s mental health and addictions system. Taking Stock: A Report on the Quality of Mental Health and Addictions Services in Ontario, examines the current quality of care and services Ontarians are receiving for mental illnesses and addictions. The report was developed by a joint multi-disciplinary team from Health Quality Ontario (HQO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). Approximately one million Ontarians report that a mental illness or addiction affected them within the previous year. The report reveals that while a wide range of services are provided in the community, primary care settings, and hospitals, access to care is not equitable for all Ontarians. In fact, there are substantial differences in access to care due to gender, age, income, immigration status, or whether a person lives in a rural or urban area.
The report also identified information gaps in Ontario’s mental health system, as data is currently not systematically collected on the effectiveness of services and supports.
“We agree there is a need for more, and better, data to gain a broader understanding of how Ontarians with mental illnesses and addictions are being impacted by services,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario. “Our organization is working with other mental health and addictions agencies to help address data infrastructure challenges across the system.”
Under the leadership of the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council, CMHA Ontario and other mental health and addictions agencies are developing a data strategy and performance measurement framework for the mental health and addictions sector. A task group has been convened to lead this process and stakeholder consultations on the draft work to date will begin in the new year.
To read the full report on the quality of mental health and addictions services in Ontario, visit the Health Quality Ontario website.