Funding Will Improve Access to Specialized Addictions Services and Supports
The Ontario government is investing over $3.8 million through the new Addictions Recovery Fund to immediately enhance access to addictions treatment supports in Thunder Bay. This funding will be provided to St. Joseph’s Care Group and Dilico Anishinabek Family Care to expand access to a total of 34 new addictions treatment beds and help hundreds of Ontarians in Thunder Bay and the surrounding region access specialized addictions treatment.
“Our government remains steadfast in our work to provide Ontarians in the North with access to safe and effective mental health and addictions services as close to home as possible,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Investing in mental health and addictions services in Thunder Bay is just one more way our government is continuing to support vulnerable populations across the province with high-quality mental health and addictions care that addresses their unique needs on their journey to recovery.”
St. Joseph’s Care Group is a recognized leader in Northwestern Ontario, providing rehabilitative care, support for seniors, and mental health and addictions services. Funding through the new Addictions Recovery Fund will provide access to 10 new addictions treatment beds and four new withdrawal management beds.
Dilico Anishinabek Family Care provides a range of responsive individual, family and community programs and services for the complete life journey of all Anishinabek people and this funding will support 20 new supportive treatment beds.
Studies have shown that opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic, with rates being three times higher in Northern Ontario. To meet the demand for treatment, the new Addictions Recovery Fund 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.
“Every year, more than one million people in Ontario experience a mental health or addictions challenge,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “That’s why our government is continuing to fulfill our commitment of making mental health and addictions a priority by investing in targeted addictions services.”
The $90 million Addictions Recovery Fund 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.
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 determined through an Ontario Health-led provincial call for applications in summer/fall 2021.
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 addiction supports. Ontarians can register at www.breakingfreeonline.ca and 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.