Chatham-Kent Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls is celebrating the provincial government’s $176 million investment to support mental health and addictions.

The Ontario government  says the funds will help expand access for critical mental health and addictions supports during COVID-19. Officials say this funding is part of the province’s investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years and enables Ontario’s comprehensive plan, A Roadmap to Wellness, to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.

In Chatham-Kent, funding is being provided to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Lambton Kent Branch and the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

The CMHA has been recommended to receive $75,058 while the CKHA is recommended to receive $150,161.

“Mental health is critical to the health and well-being in our communities,” said Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent Leamington. “Everyone has been impacted by COVID-19, especially those already struggling with mental health and addictions. I am happy to see our government investing in our community by providing additional supports to those who need it.”

The office of the MPP says the $176 million investment will help address urgent gaps in care, enhance access to mental health and addictions services, create new supports and expand programs in several priority areas, including:

  • Community-based services in English and French, including services for children and youth;
  • Mental health and justice services;
  • Supportive housing for individuals with serious mental health and addiction challenges, and who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • Community and residential addictions, including treatment and care for opioid addictions;
  • Increased supports for Indigenous peoples, families, and communities; and
  • More hospital in-patient beds for mental health and addiction patients.

As part of this funding, the province is investing in targeted community and residential addictions services including:

  • $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; and
  • $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;

“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 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.”

“We made a promise to the people of Ontario to address the growing frustration with capacity issues within our mental health and addictions system,” said Associate Minister Tibollo. “Despite the additional challenges facing Ontarians during this outbreak, we are focused on increasing capacity and addressing wait times for services, so that Ontarians can get quality care and improve their quality of life.”