August 30, 2017
(TORONTO, August 29, 2017) – Please see below for a statement from Gail Czukar, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) in response to Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ announcement on the opioid crisis.
“We applaud the Minister’s release of a comprehensive plan and corresponding investment to tackle the opioid crisis. This is a significant investment into a sector that has not seen new resources in a very long time.
The province’s proposed approach is multi-faceted and holistic, with an emphasis on community-based treatment, harm reduction, health equity and recovery. It includes not only prevention, promotion and harm reduction, but importantly it will also bolster treatment and services.
Our members, who provide addiction and mental health services and supports across the province, are seeing firsthand the devastating impact of this crisis. Current wait lists for publicly funded treatment, services and supports are lengthy and growing. This investment will enable more front-line workers to not only save lives, but to help people with opioid use disorder live healthier lives and support recovery.
We are particularly pleased to also see investments targeted towards significant gaps in the system, such as support for Indigenous communities and developmentally appropriate treatment for youth. For example, there are currently no withdrawal management services specifically designed for youth.
The Minister emphasized today the urgency of getting this funding to the front lines. AMHO and our 220 members across the province are ready to support a smooth implementation process to ensure people can access help promptly and equitably.”
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About Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
AMHO represents over 220 addictions 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.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with Gail Czukar, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
T: 416-490-8900 ext. 8