Loading articles...

Toronto allocates additional $2M for mental health supports in areas hard hit by COVID-19

Last Updated Apr 26, 2021 at 5:15 pm EDT

Pedestrians walk outside Toronto City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019. (FILE/Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The City of Toronto will be allocating an additional $2 million to community groups and non-profit organizations to help them in addressing mental health issues in the city, especially in areas hardest hit by the pandemic.

Mayor John Tory made the announcement during the city’s daily COVID-19 briefing and said the funds will come from the TO Supports Investment Fund, which is in turn supported by the Government of Ontario.

The money is being distributed to seven community-based mental health organizations that are part of the city’s Mental Health Support Strategy launched last year. In addition, funds will go to 18 other partner agencies that specialize in addressing mental health concerns.

“Supporting our residents through this challenging time is not something the city can do on its own and so we do continue to partner with some great organizations and community based agencies to ensure that residents have access to the social services they need,” said Tory.

The groups will provide a range of services including virtual, one-on-one and group counselling sessions and increased crisis support via dedicated crisis phone lines.

Click here for a list of agencies providing mental health support through this partnership with the City.

Tory said the services are free for Toronto residents and can be accessed 24/7 by calling 2-1-1 or visiting 211.ca.

He also highlighted that specific mental health resources are available to frontline workers and also accessible through 2-1-1.

“Please remember that if you are feeling worried or stressed during this time, these are normal reactions to this unprecedented situation. It’s okay not to be okay and there are supports available to you and we urge you to take advantage of them if you feel the slightest need to do so,” he said.

Since the the pandemic was declared, the city has invested a total of $2.9 million in mental health support.