(TORONTO, January 30, 2019) – Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is proud to participate in Bell Let’s Talk Day and help turn the mental health conversation in Ontario into action.
“The government has committed an investment of $3.8 billion over the next 10 years on addiction and mental health services and we know this will have a positive and transformative impact on the lives of thousands of Ontarians,” says Adrienne Spafford, AMHO’s CEO.
Every year over 300,000 people are helped by local mental health and addiction providers, but year after year Ontarians are facing more overdoses, more visits to the emergency department and rapidly growing waitlists.
Ending the stigma surrounding mental health and addiction and ensuring people get the help they need when they need it is a task that can only be accomplished together.
“Together, we can save lives. By working with health care providers across the province and government, we can make sure this investment will improve addiction and mental health services for everyone,” continues Spafford.
This commitment of funds from the government can make a big difference in the lives of children, youth and adults across Ontario. AMHO’s 2019 pre-budget submission, Together We Can, puts forward three main priorities to achieve this:
- End hallway healthcare by ensuring emergency rooms and hospitals aren’t the first or only point of contact for those with mental health and substance abuse challenges
- Reduce wait times to treatment by providing faster access to mental health and addiction care
- Strengthen services for youth by implementing early intervention services
The mental health conversation has come a long way since the start of Bell Let’s Talk, but to this day addiction & mental health challenges are not treated in the same way as physical illnesses or injuries. It’s time to change the conversation, end the stigma, and ensure when people ask for help, they receive it.
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About Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
AMHO represents 200 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.