Ontario Making Historic Investment in Mental Health and Addictions Care for Every Stage of Life

Nearly one third of people in Ontario will experience a mental health or addictions issue at some point in their lifetime. The government’s historic investment in mental health and addictions services will help ensure that anyone who needs support can receive the care they need, when and where they need it. There should be no wrong door to accessing care, and this announcement will make it easier for people to find the services they need at every stage of life, when and where they need them.

Ontario is investing $2.1 billion in new funding over four years to improve care, reduce waitlists and increase access across the province. This builds on our annual funding commitment of $3.8 billion for mental health and addictions care. All told, Ontario is investing $17 billion in mental health and addictions care over the next four years.

Getting Off to a Good Start

Improving Care for Kids in Their Communities

The province will enhance support for young people by introducing a new funding allocation model for child and youth community mental health services. This model was developed in partnership with stakeholders, partners and people with lived experience. It will take into account the specific needs of each community and increase funding for services that meet that community’s needs. $300 million over four years

Reducing Wait Times for Children and Youth

The province will increase base funding for core services providers of child and youth mental health services so they can provide support more quickly and meet the growing demand for mental health and addictions services. Combined with the new funding model above, children and youth will have access to more services and experience significantly reduced wait times. $66.4 million over four years

Providing Care for Children and Youth Who Need It Most

Some communities and groups face unique mental health challenges and require targeted support. To meet this need, Ontario will provide support designed to meet the specific needs of priority groups of children and youth, including LGBTQ2S, racialized and Indigenous children and youth. $116.6 million over four years

Improving Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention

For many kids, early detection and intervention means better mental health throughout their lives. This initiative will include more investments in early psychosis intervention workers; improved screening for substance abuse issues; funding for community-based eating disorder services; and diagnostic services for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. $74.4 million over four years

Enhancing Care for Indigenous Children and Youth

Ontario will increase funding for community-based mental health care services for Indigenous children and youth, including support for more programs and services that are culturally appropriate. $79 million over four years for new programs and services; $8 million over four years for increased base funding for core providers of these services

Making a Healthy Transition into Adulthood

Hiring More Mental Health Workers in Schools

Ontario will hire additional mental health workers in secondary schools, who will support mental health and addiction issues early on and provide a bridge to community services so students can get the services they need when they need it. $181.5 million over four years

Supporting Students’ Mental Health Literacy

Better understanding of mental health issues can increase awareness and boost overall health. The province will provide ongoing funding so all 72 school boards can expand an evidence-based approach to mental health and addictions that will help staff and students learn to recognize the signs of a mental health and addictions issues and how to get the care they need. $18 million over four years

Hiring More Mental Health Workers on Campus

Ontario will enhance support for college and university students by funding more mental health promotion workers on campus. $11.7 million over four years

Youth Wellness Hubs

The province will more than double the provincial network of youth wellness hubs — essentially one-stop shops for mental health services for youth — by creating at least 15 new hubs over four years. These hubs improve access to services, fill critical service gaps for youth aged 12 to 25 and smooth the transition from the child and youth system to the adult one. $16.5 million over four years

Building a Happy and Healthy Life

Expanding Access to Supportive Housing

The government will fund 2,475 additional units for people who need increased support in a safe place to live. Ontario will also provide capital funding so existing supportive housing buildings can repair and renew aging facilities. $424.7 million over four years

Enhancing Addictions Treatment Services for Youth and Adults

Ontario will expand its funding for withdrawal management services and community and residential addictions treatment services, and create new peer-support workers for mental health and addictions. $128.3 million over four years

Providing Faster Access to 24/7 Help and Crisis Counselling

People anywhere in Ontario will be able to get 24/7 same-day screening and referral to services for mental health and addictions issues through a new “help line” using the method of their choice: phone, email, text or chat. This service will also provide 24/7 and crisis counselling. $122.9 million over four years

Increasing Care for People in Crisis

Ontario will create 100 new acute mental health and addictions beds to expand hospital care for people with acute mental health needs. $100.3 million over four years

Helping People with Mental Health and Addictions Issues Stay Out of the Justice System

Ontario will provide more support to help people with mental health issues who are at risk of becoming involved with the justice system. These will include integrated programs for shelter-hostel outreach; funding for Mobile Crisis Rapid Response, which includes safe beds for people in crisis and teams with a police officer and mental health worker who respond together to calls involving mental-health issues; hiring more case managers to work with people with mental health issues who are involved with police or the justice system; and expanding the capacity of mental health and justice teams to respond to people with addictions. $51.3 million over four years

Giving Caregivers More Support

Caregivers for people with mental health and addictions issues, who are often unpaid family members and friends, can themselves experience significant stress and poor mental health. The province will provide more support to help them better care for themselves so they can continue to care for their loved ones. $35 million over four years

Enhancing Help for Diverse and Priority Populations

The government will provide funding to Local Health Integration Networks across Ontario so they can expand existing services or create new services for people in priority groups, such as racialized, immigrant and LGBTQ2S communities. $24.5 million over four years

Supporting Mental Health at Every Stage in Life

Strengthening the Province’s Community Mental Health and Addictions System

Ontario will bolster its mental health care system by rolling out a 3 per cent increase for community-based providers of adult mental illness and addictions care by 2019-20. $132 million over four years

Helping People with Anxiety and Depression

The government will expand access to publicly funded psychotherapy to up to 350,000 more people with mild to moderate anxiety and depression. This funding will include cognitive behavioural therapy, which has proven to be highly effective, as well as targeted support for refugees and survivors of gender-based violence. $141.3 million over four years

Ensuring This Investment Delivers Results

Progress requires measurable results. As such, Ontario will now report publicly on the performance of its mental health and addictions care, including wait times and other aspects of care. Benchmarks on wait times and service delivery standards will be developed with stakeholders and service delivery partners. $54.6 million over four years

Enhancing Mental Health and Addictions Services for Indigenous People

Ontario will provide support to 10 Indigenous organizations so they can hire Indigenous System Coordinators. These System Coordinators will enable Indigenous community voices to be included as new mental health and addictions initiatives are rolled out. They will use an Indigenous-patient lens to help improve connections between systems and providers. $6.1 million over four years


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