Province connecting people with the care they need closer to home
Ontario is investing in local mental health and addictions organizations to provide care closer to home for people who are experiencing mental health and addictions challenges. The province is also creating a province-wide registry of mental health beds to connect those experiencing a mental health crisis with the closest available bed.
This investment will support mental health and addictions services, including:
- Increased access to services such as supportive housing, short-term crisis support beds, peer support groups and treatment programs
- Shorter wait times for care through the new registry of inpatient mental health beds. It will provide doctors, first responders and emergency departments with up-to-date information about available inpatient beds across the province
- Improved transitions between care teams so people do not have to tell their story multiple times
- More early intervention initiatives to reduce repeat visits to emergency departments. For example, expanding the number of early psychosis intervention teams to help people early on after onset of psychosis
The next phase of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy includes $138 million over three years for community agencies to support improvements to mental health and addictions services, through Local Health Integration Networks.
Supporting mental health and addictions services closer to home is part of Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. It is also part of the government’s four-part plan to build Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- Each of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks is investing an additional $2 million for 2014-15 in community-based mental health and addictions services.
- Currently, there are 4,700 inpatient mental health beds in more than 80 facilities across Ontario.
- Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and/or substance abuse challenge at some point in their lifetime, with one out of 40 Ontarians experiencing a serious mental illness.
- By 2017, the government will have increased annual funding for mental health and addictions by a total of $172 million since it launched the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in 2011.
- Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.
- The next phase of Ontario’s comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy.
- Open Minds, Healthy Minds: Ontario’s comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy.
- Find help for people experiencing problems with alcohol, drugs, mental health or gambling.
We have all been touched by mental health and addiction challenges – whether through a friend, a co-worker, a family member or our own experience. By continuing to invest in community services, we’re helping to connect people with the support they need closer to home through settings that are more culturally appropriate and personal. These investments will improve the lives of people experiencing mental illness and addictions challenges – and the families that help care for them.
Recovery isn’t an easy road. The Gerstein Crisis Centre, with programs such as FRESH (Finding Recovery through Exercise, Skill and Hope) helps people with their recovery from mental health and substance use issues to live well and have rich and happy lives. By supporting these kinds of important community services, we’re helping people build their dignity, self-esteem and a second chance at life.
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