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Ontario revamping mental health services

Last Updated Mar 3, 2020 at 12:43 pm EDT

Ontario Premier Doug Ford watches as Health Minister Christine Elliott speaks at an event at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto on January 30, 2019. Ontarians are set to learn the government's plans today for an overhaul of the health-care system. Health Minister Christine Elliott is set to introduce legislation this afternoon and will make an announcement on it this morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Ontario is creating a central agency to oversee its revamp of the province’s mental health services.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the creation of the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence will help build a co-ordinated treatment system.

She says the centre will standardize and monitor the quality of services across the province, likening its work to that of Cancer Care Ontario.

The centre is part of the province’s mental health and addictions plan announced today, which Elliott says will cut wait times and improve services.

She says the province will also provide access to cognitive behavioural therapy designed to treat people struggling with anxiety or depression.

That program will cost $20 million when it launches this spring and aims to treat 80,000 people in its first year.