February 22, 2022 (Toronto) –Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is releasing their recommendations for the 2023 provincial budget.
Today, in Ontario as much as 20 per cent of our population – 2.9 million people – are struggling with their mental and substance use health. The demand for mental health and addiction supports has never been as high as it is right now.
“Without timely access to the right supports, where and when they need it, Ontarians are facing worsening health conditions, leading to increased medical leaves from work, lost jobs, fractured relationships with families and support systems, repeated visits to emergency rooms, and in the worst of cases overdose or suicide” said Alisha Tharani, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario.
We are calling on the Ontario 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.
AMHO is also calling for the development of 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.
Investing in the community mental health and addiction sector doesn’t just ease the burden of the province’s opioid and mental health crisis, it provides relief for the rest of the healthcare sector, preventing hospital admissions and saving lives.
By investing $130 million in the community mental health and addictions sector, Ontario’s government will support keeping people safe, healthy, and alive.
Ontarians need help now. There is no time to wait.