Ontario Building a Stronger Mental Health and Addictions System in Eastern Ontario

Ontario Building a Stronger Mental Health and Addictions System in Eastern Ontario

Province investing over $10 million to better connect services for children and youth

March 15, 2022


OTTAWA — As part of its plan to build a stronger and more resilient health care system, the Ontario government is investing over $10 million to build a new Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre. This funding will bring mental health and addiction supports and services from three existing locations together at a new, dedicated site in Carp that will make it easier and more convenient for children, youth and their families to access the high-quality care they need and deserve close to home.

“Our government is building a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system for Ontarians of all ages,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “The new Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre will help provide more children and youth with access to specialized mental health and addictions services where and when they need them.”

The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre currently operates three sites that provide addiction supports and services to children, youth and their families, offering a community-based alternative to seeking treatment in a hospital. This project will bring services together under one roof and expand existing programs, such as comprehensive assessment, live-in treatment and continuing care, to better address local needs and an increased demand in services. As part of this project, six new treatment beds will be added for a total of 30 beds that provide intensive bed-based services for up to 108 patients per year. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2022, during which time services will continue to be offered out of the existing sites.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new and more complex obstacles for children and youth experiencing mental health or addiction challenges,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “With the relocation of the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre, youth and their loved ones will have better access to effective and safe addictions care that meets their unique needs.”

The government continues making investments under the Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario’s comprehensive plan to build a modern and connected mental health and addictions system that meets the unique needs of individuals, families and caregivers. Since 2019-20, $525 million in new annualized mental health and addictions funding has been provided to organizations across the province to implement and expand services and supports, including addictions services and supports, children and youth mental health services, mobile crisis teams and programs supporting at-risk populations.

Quick Facts

  • To support growing demands on the health care system, the government is investing $30.2 billion over the next 10 years in health infrastructure across Ontario. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.
  • The government is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to implement Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario’s comprehensive plan to build a modern, connected and high-quality mental health and addictions system centred around the needs of individuals and their families.
  • As part of the province’s $32.7 million investment in annualized funding, the Ontario government committed $18.8 million towards bed-based addictions services for adults and youth who need intensive supports. This investment included $7.85 million for a total of 90 new treatment beds.
  • Breaking Free Online is a free online therapy tool designed to help Ontarians aged 16 and older reduce or stop the use of over 70 substances, such as tobacco, alcohol and drugs, including opioids.
  • Kids Help Phone provides 24/7/365 professional counselling services for children, teens, and young adults across Canada with Ontario being the largest user of its service.
  • BounceBack is a free cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) program that offers guided mental health self-help supports for adults and youth 15 and older.
  • To find the right mental health and addictions supports and get information about many confidential and free options, please visit Ontario.ca/MentalHealth.


“The Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre is a beacon of hope for families whose children are struggling with addiction, and this funding is critical to ensuring that the growing demand for services is addressed. Now more than ever we need to make sure that young people have the resources they need to recover so that they are supported to live full, healthy lives.”

– Dr. Merrilee Fullerton
MPP for Kanata—Carleton

“I’ve been committed to this project from day one and told the late Dave Smith he had my commitment to see this through. Through the work of the Ministry of Health, our government has been there to support families with loved ones struggling with addiction. This historic investment to the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre will ensure the youth of Ottawa have a safe space where they can receive the help they deserve to overcome their addictions.”

– Lisa MacLeod
MPP for Nepean

“This is welcome news for the families of Ottawa. The health and well-being of children and youth is imperative, this is why our government continues to invest in the youth of Ontario. This funding will provide families with the services and resources they need to support their loved ones.”

– Goldie Ghamari
MPP for Carleton

“Ensuring that children and youth have a place to turn when in crisis is key priority for our government. This investment in a new facility for the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre builds upon our government’s past investments in CHEO’s new 1Door4Care building and increased beds for youth dealing with eating disorders.”

– Jeremy Roberts
MPP for Ottawa West—Nepean

“We are incredibly grateful for this investment which will mean more treatment beds and shorter wait times for youth in crisis. The new centre will be designed to create the best possible conditions for client recovery and family support for decades to come.”

– Steve Bell
Chair of the Board of Directors, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre

“Today’s announcement is wonderful news for Ontario youth and families. As we celebrate this investment our thoughts are also with our late founder and tremendous source of inspiration, Dave Smith, without whom today would not have been possible.”

– Mike Beauchesne
Executive Director, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre

Additional Resources


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Media Contacts

Alexandra Hilkene
Minister Elliott’s Office

Anna Miller
Communications Division