Ontario Improving Access to Mental Health Services

Ontario Improving Access to Mental Health Services

September is Recovery Month Across Ontario

September 29, 2021


TORONTO —The Ontario government is investing over $34.6 million to support upgrades and the addition of new facilities at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) so they can continue to provide high-quality care and better address the unique mental health needs of patients.

“Investing in projects like the redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health unit is one more way our government is delivering on our commitment to build a comprehensive mental health and addictions system for all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will give patients access to high-quality care and services that meets their unique needs in a safe, recovery-oriented environment.”

CAMH’s forensic mental health program currently operates out of an old, institutional building that was not built for modern concepts of forensic health care. The expansion includes upgrades to the existing forensic services facility and additional indoor and outdoor support spaces. Once completed, the newly renovated space will include dedicated family visitation areas in the inpatient units, enclosed outdoor areas to support recovery, outpatient services, security and building support services.

The redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health program is the fourth and final part of the hospital’s broader redevelopment project. This new funding brings the province’s total investment in the project to over $37 million.

“Since the release of Roadmap to Wellness last year, our top priority has been to continue making critical investments that will fill urgent gaps in mental health and addictions care and ensure that Ontario’s most vulnerable populations have targeted and reliable access to the support they need,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “The redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health program will ensure that individuals who need emergency mental health support receive the most appropriate care, in a specialized setting where they are fully supported.”

In addition, the Ontario government is taking further action to support CAMH during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the hospital’s operating funding for the third straight year, with over $13.9 million in additional operating funding in 2021/22. This represents an increase of approximately 4.5 per cent from 2020/21.

“This is a significant milestone as we enter the fourth and final phase of CAMH’s ambitious redevelopment project,” said Tracey MacArthur, President and CEO of CAMH. “The new building will bring to life our vision of secure recovery. This is based on the idea that for recovery to take place, patients need access to rehabilitative programming, an environment of trust, and the ability to develop relationships with those providing their care. All patients deserve to receive care in dignified spaces that promote healing and recovery.”

Quick Facts

  • Forensic mental health services are provided when a court determines a patient’s mental illness caused them to commit the offence. In these cases, the individual is typically ordered to a hospital with a forensic mental health program like CAMH to receive mental health care.
  • Throughout the planning and design of the expanded forensic mental health unit, CAMH will be working closely with the community to keep stakeholders and the public informed. This will include consultations with community members and key stakeholders.
  • The 2021 Budget outlined a total of $1.8 billion in additional investments for hospitals in 2021-2022, ensuring the province’s health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario. This includes funding to create more than 3,100 additional hospital beds, as well as an increase of $778 million in operational funding to ensures all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.
  • The government is investing more than $22 billion in capital grants over the next 10 years for hospital projects across Ontario that will lead to $30 billion in hospital infrastructure. Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy, brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy. Ontario’s COVID-19 action plan supports now total $51 billion.

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