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Province investing additional $176M for mental health, addiction supports during pandemic

Last Updated Oct 7, 2020 at 1:37 pm EDT

A syringe is seen on the pavement in Toronto in an undated file photo. CITYNEWS/Hugues Cormier

COVID-19 doesn’t just affect those who catch the potentially deadly virus. There’s been a disturbing increase of overdose deaths in Ontario recently, and mental health can suffer under the isolation and financial strain of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the province announced $176 million of additional funding to address those burgeoning social issues.

“Today’s ongoing investment not only delivers on our government’s historic commitment to invest billions in mental health over 10 years, but it will also provide care for thousands of people, including frontline health workers and first responders, who need such critical supports during these challenging times,” Premier Ford said.

The money will go towards things like supportive housing for people with serious mental health and addiction issues, increased supports for Indigenous communities and more hospital in-patient beds for people with mental health and addiction issues.

As part of this funding, the province is investing in targeted community and residential addictions services including: (Source: Province of Ontario)

  • $4 million for nurse practitioners for detox services to improve the medical management of clients who are withdrawing from substance use in residential withdrawal management facilities;
  • $8 million for addictions day and evening care to increase access to intensive non-residential addictions and substance use treatment services for youth and adults;
  • $3.5 million for in-home/mobile withdrawal management services to increase access to community withdrawal management services for hard to service clients, including those located in rural areas; and
  • Over $900,000 for an additional four inpatient beds at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to support capacity pressures at CAMH.


“By making these investments, our government is making it easier for people to find and access high-quality mental health and addictions services when and where they need them,” said Minister of Health, Christine Elliott.

“We’re working across government and with system partners to provide long-term stability and investments in critical services to improve and modernize the system and close urgent gaps in care.”