Funding Will Improve Access to Specialized Addictions Services and Supports
NEWS March 16, 2022
BRANTFORD — The Ontario government is investing nearly $1 million in base funding to immediately expand access to 11 new addictions treatment beds, located at St. Leonard’s Community Services. This funding is being provided through the 2021 Ontario Health Request for Proposals process for new adult addictions beds. These new beds will help hundreds of Ontarians in Brantford-Brant and the surrounding region access specialized addictions treatment.
“It is almost hard to believe the progress that we have been able to make in under 4 years”, said Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma. “That progress is built on incredible community partners like St. Leonard’s, that are innovators and are driven by compassion and service. Coupled with a Ministry, headed by Hon. Michael Tibollo, ideas were turned into reality for some of the most vulnerable people in our community today.”
“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 investment is an important step forward to protect our progress in our fight against COVID-19, and ensuring that individuals and families in the region have targeted, reliable access to the help they expect and deserve.”
“We are excited to launch this Residential Addictions Treatment Program in our community that will provide the opportunity for gender specific Addictions Treatment programming in our community”, said Brad Stark, Executive Director of St. Leonard’s Community Services. “In August, 2019, prior the opening of our Residential Withdrawal Management and Treatment program at 135 Elgin Street, Brantford had zero residential treatment beds. With the opening of this program, our community now has 28 beds providing quality residential addictions treatment to our local communities. We thank Ontario Health West for supporting our proposal and making residential addictions treatment a priority in our community.”
Studies have shown that opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic. To meet the demand for treatment, the government has also recently announced the new Addictions Recovery Fund that will support almost 400 new addictions treatment beds across the province, helping to stabilize and provide care for approximately 7,000 clients per year. This includes clients in northern, rural and Indigenous communities. Addictions Recovery Fund investments in other addictions services and supports across the province include:
- Eight 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;
- Support for Indigenous-led land-based healing services; 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.”
- As part of Budget 2021, Ontario 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.
- As part of this $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. This builds on Ontario Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence call for applications for new beds in substance use treatment services that was issued to health service providers across the province.
- The $90 million Addictions Recovery Fund that was recently announced complements, but is separate from, the $175 million Roadmap to Wellness investment announced in the 2021 Budget, and is being invested over three years. Investments of $7.2 million are being made in 2021-22, and $41.39 million in each of 2022-23 and 2023-24.
- In 2020-2021, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the province invested up to $194 million in one-time emergency funding for mental health and addictions services.
- The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million in Breaking Free Online, an innovative therapy tool that makes it faster and easier for Ontarians to access safe and effective addictions supports. Ontarians can register at breakingfreeonline.caand have free access to programming and resources for two years. Mental health and addictions service providers can also register their patients for this service.
- Visit COVID-19: Support for People to find information about the many available, confidential, and free mental health and addictions services and supports for Ontarians of all ages.
For more information, contact MPP Will Bouma at 519-759-0361 or [email protected]