Toronto, March 23, 2023 – Today’s commitment from the Ontario government – to invest an additional $425 million in mental health and addictions care over the next three years, including a 5% increase to baseline funding for community-based mental health and addictions care, and $200M in targeted funding for supportive housing – is critical to stabilizing the sector and ensuring every Ontarian gets access to the care they need when and where they need it, as envisioned in the Roadmap to Wellness.
The demand for mental health and substance use health supports has never been as high as it is right now. While progress has been made over the last several years, the demand for services continues to rise to unprecedented levels, leaving too many Ontarians waiting to access care.
“With this investment in our sector, organizations can begin to address the immediate need for stabilization of the sector and at the same time, support the expansion of services to address wait lists,” said Alisha Tharani, Chief Executive Officer, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario. “AMHO and our members are ready to work with the government, system partners, experts and persons with lived and living experiences to inform the implementation of these significant investments and to address the health human resource challenges that our sector is facing, and ensure Ontarians get the care they need”.
In February 2023, informed by input from member organizations, AMHO released “No Time to Wait”, our 2023 budget submission, which included our recommendations calling on government to:
- Provide organizations delivering mental health and substance use health services with a base funding increase of 8% — or approximately $130 million annually — to help ensure all Ontarians have access to high-quality, easily accessible support throughout their lifetime, where and when they need it, as envisioned in the Roadmap to Wellness.
- Develop a staffing strategy for the mental health and addictions sector to address the low and inequitable wages, and inadequate supply of workers within the sector, in order to support our sector’s ability to attract, recruit and retain staff.
AMHO thanks the Ontario government for listening to the mental health and addictions sector and hearing our concerns about the real challenges facing our sector today. We know this is a critical step forward, and we look forward to continuing to work together to build a comprehensive and connected system of care for Ontarians.
About Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO)
AMHO represents nearly 200 addiction and mental health care organizations across Ontario. Our members provide services and supports that help Ontarians across the province, including counselling and case management, peer support and family support, employment services, residential treatment, withdrawal management, supportive housing and hospital-based programs. As the collective voice of our members, we provide leadership and engage partners to build a comprehensive and accessible system of addiction and mental health care, and improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities in Ontario. We do this through policy work, advocacy initiatives, service development, knowledge exchange, education offerings and quality improvement work.