TORONTO —The Ontario government is investing $32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to invest $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.
“The devastating impacts of mental health and addictions challenges can be felt in every community across the province, and our government is committed to supporting all Ontarians on their journey to wellness,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “By investing in addictions services across the continuum of care, from prevention to recovery, we are making it easier for people to find and access support where and when they need it.”
As the province continues the fight against COVID-19, this funding will help to enhance access to evidence-based, high-quality addictions services and address urgent gaps in needed supports across the continuum of care, including:
- $2.25 million to support elements of the Toronto-based opioid response proposal by the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network to support the individual’s journey across the continuum of care, including: expanding the Rapid Access Addiction Medicine (RAAM) clinics; establishing addiction consultation services in acute care settings; and coordinating and integrating services between Toronto providers to make transitioning between supports easier for clients and improving continuity of care.
- $6.9 million in provincial opioid response investments including: adding harm reduction workers provincewide; expanding RAAM clinics and establishing Acute Consultation Services in areas with high rates of opioid use.
- Over $18.8 million in bed-based investments for adults and youth who need intensive supports, including: adding 30 new youth treatment beds at Pine River Institute, a multidisciplinary program serving children and youth ages 13 to 19 with addictive behaviours and other mental health challenges; adding new adult addiction treatment beds; supporting existing bed-based treatment services including withdrawal management services at Bluewater Health and at Sault Area Hospital; and coordinating the transitions in care between service providers.
- $4.75 million for community-based services to support lifelong stabilization and recovery, including: supporting an innovative, virtual intensive treatment program at Renascent; expanding appropriate supports for vulnerable and/or racialized populations; and expanding peer support services.
“With a steady rise in addiction and overdose rates in Ontario and across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking real action to ensure all Ontarians have access to highest-quality addiction supports that meet their unique needs,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Through Roadmap to Wellness, our government will continue making historic investments to help create a system where all Ontarians, including those struggling with addiction, can get the support they need.”
As part of Roadmap to Wellness, the 2021 Budget committed $175 million in 2021-22 to expand and enhance mental health and addictions services, an increase of $525 million in annualized funding since 2019-20. This includes expanding services for children and youth, justice-related services, mobile crisis teams, supportive housing and programs supporting at-risk populations.