Ontario Expanding Access to Mental Health Services
AURORA–OAK-RIDGES–RICHMOND HILL — As part of Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, the Ontario government is connecting more Ontarians to mental health and addictions services by expanding and improving inter-professional primary care in Aurora – Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill,with a special focus on mental health.
“By placing a special emphasis on mental health and addictions services through the expansion of the Your Health plan, the Ontario government has committed to a proactive approach when it comes to ensuring the wellbeing of individuals and families” says MPP Michael Parsa. “With the investment of nearly $4.5 million of mental health funding in the healthcare infrastructure of our communities, the province continues to reinforce its commitment to making mental and primary health care services more accessible to Ontarians. The expansion of mental health services in Aurora – Oak Ridges – Richmond Hill indicates the development of a more responsive healthcare system, one that prioritizes the wellness of every individual, and one that is equipped to support them when they need it most.”
Providing nearly $4.5 million in dedicated mental health funding to the region’s 26 family health teams, seven nurse practitioner-led clinics, seven community health centres, and its sole Indigenous primary health care organization is helping people better connect with the care they need, closer to home, in their own communities.
With this funding, our government has been able to address backlogs and provide people with shorter wait times for mental health and addictions services within different areas in our community. The Dufferin Area Family Health Team will now be able to provide more mental health and diabetes services through a Registered Nurse, a Registered Dietitian, a Chiropodist, a Mental Health Therapist and a Social Worker– helping to address gaps in services by connecting more people with the care they need in Caledon. Additionally, there is also new funding for Southlake Family Health Team and Woodbridge Family Health Team to help with rising rent, inflation, and other costs.
“Providing Ontarians with the right care in the right place is a pillar of the Your Health plan, and that includes expanding access to mental health and addiction care to connect people and their families to timely, convenient care, closer to home,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By continuing to build on our Roadmap to Wellness, we are making it easier and faster for individuals and families to connect to mental health and addictions supports with additional investments and innovative new programs.”
To make it faster and easier for young people to connect to mental health and substance use support, primary care, social services, and more, Ontario is also expanding the number of Youth Wellness Hubs by adding eight new hubs to the 14 that are already operating across the province. Youth Wellness Hubs are filling major gaps in care for youth substance use, concurrent disorders, and transition-aged youth by providing walk-in access to primary care and mental health and addictions services for people aged 12 to 25. These core clinical services are co-located within a range of other supports in the fields of education, employment, training, housing, and other community and social services.
“Over three years ago, we launched the Roadmap to Wellness to improve mental health and addiction services and provide better, more equitable support for patients and families in communities all across Ontario. We know that reaching out for mental health and/or substance abuse support is not easy, and that is why we are working to ensure that help is always there, when and where it is needed. To see that people of all ages can connect to the care they need, our government continues to make historic mental health and addictions investments like these as we build out Ontario’s recovery-oriented continuum of care.”
- Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions.
- In 2020, Ontario released a strategy to build a world-class mental health and addictions system – Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System. Supported by a commitment to invest $3.8 billion over ten years, Roadmap is adding capacity to meet demand, filling gaps in the care continuum, and creating a provincial infrastructure for a mental health and addictions continuum of care that connects primary, community, and acute care to better wrap around the needs of people with mental health and addictions issues.
- In Budget 2023, Ontario is building on its historic $3.8 billion investment by providing an additional $425 million over three years. This investment will provide community-based mental health and addictions service providers funded by the Ministry of Health with a five per cent increase in base funding.
- Since 2019-20, the government has flowed $525 million in new base funding for mental health and addictions services and supports. This funding is supporting a range of services, including child and youth mental health, community-based addictions services, supportive housing, mental health and justice, and Indigenous mental health and addictions.
Office of MPP Michael Parsa
Minister of Children, Communities and Social Services