Ontario mental health and addictions plan seeks to address wait times and service quality

The province is set to invest $3.8 billion in mental health and addictions services over the next ten years

By Graham Whittaker

The Ontario government is taking aim at long wait times and quality of mental health services.

On Tuesday Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences to announced the government’s road-map to improve mental heath and addictions services. The plan seeks to reduce wait times, expand the existing services and provide high-quality individualized treatment options.

“We know how important it is for Ontarians and their families to have access to high-quality services when and where they need them,” said Elliott. “By improving the availability and quality of mental health and addictions supports, and by better connecting Ontarians with these services, this new road-map will help us build healthier communities by alleviating growing pressures on our hospitals and, in doing so, significantly support our goal of ending hallway health care.”

Related: Children and youth in Simcoe County who need mental health counselling and therapy services are being forced to wait months

A new initiative called Mindability was also announced, which will provide access to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to Ontarians who are deemed eligible following a professional assessment. The Mindability program will start this year following a $20 million investment at launch.

Overall the Ontario government is set to invest $3.8 billion on mental health and addictions services over the next ten years.