March 10, 2017
Please see below for a statement from Gail Czukar, CEO of Addictions and Mental Health Ontario, on today’s health agreement reached between Ontario and Canada.
“Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) is pleased to see Ontario will be receiving $1.9 billion in targeted investments in mental health as part of a 10-year health funding agreement.
We will be advocating to ensure these investments address the significant issues in addiction, including opiates, in Ontario. Substance use disorder is the second most common mental illness, yet only 1 in 6 people receive publicly funded treatment.
We also recognize the need for these investments to ensure our children and youth are well supported, given that 70% of mental illness and substance use issues begin in childhood or adolescence.
We know that every $1 invested in mental health and addiction avoids $10 in health and justice costs, so not only will this investment help people lead better lives, it will also generate overall system savings.
Today’s announcement, as well as Ontario’s recent announcement of $140 million into structured psychotherapy, supportive housing, and youth wellness hubs, indicate the ongoing commitment at both levels of government to help people with mental illness and addiction issues. We look forward to building on this momentum to redress the historical funding inequities that have made it challenging for people and families to access help for addiction and mental illness.
AMHO looks forward to working with the government to identify priority areas of investment, such as addiction and children and youth, and to working with the government and our partners to develop performance indicators and mechanisms for reporting progress.”
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About Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
AMHO represents over 220 community addictions and mental health care organizations across Ontario. Our members provide services and supports that help Ontarians across the province with their recovery, 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:
Jessica Behnke, Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Addictions and Mental Health Ontario
416-490-8900 ext. 229