CAMBRIDGE — The Ontario government is investing $90 million over three years through the new Addictions Recovery Fund to immediately expand addictions services and increase the number of treatment beds across the province. This funding will help thousands of Ontarians access enhanced specialized services for mental health and addictions treatment, including in rural, Northern and Indigenous communities.
“Both before and during the pandemic, we’ve seen a surge in demand for high-quality addictions care that addresses the unique needs of vulnerable populations across Ontario,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “This historic investment is an important step forward to protect our progress in our fight against COVID-19, and ensuring that individuals and families in every corner of the province have reliable access to the help they expect and deserve.”
Studies have shown that opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic, with Ontarians at risk of overdose facing significant barriers to accessing treatment. To meet the demand for treatment, investments will support 396 new addictions treatment beds for adults who need intensive supports, helping to stabilize and provide care for approximately 7,000 clients per year. Investments in other addictions services and supports include:
- Six new Youth Wellness Hubs offering developmentally tailored primary care and mental health and addictions treatment for youth ages 12 to 25;
- Two new Mobile Mental Health Clinics to provide a full suite of mental health and addictions services directly to individuals living in remote, rural and underserved communities;
- Three new police-partnered Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support individuals in a mental health or addictions crisis; and
- Additional community supports including day/evening intensive treatment, mild to moderate intensive treatment, and after-care programs.
“The impacts of mental health and addictions challenges can be felt in communities 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 targeted addictions services, we are making it easier for people facing addictions challenges to find and access support where and when they need it.”