Government of Ontario provides emergency pandemic funding to support community-based mental health and addiction providers

AMHO News, Media Releases

Toronto, ON, December 17, 2020: Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO)  is very pleased that the Minister of Health, Christine Elliott and Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Michael Tibollo, are prioritizing mental health with an investment of $147 million to address the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on all Ontarians.

This funding commitment is welcome relief for providers who have been working day and night to continue to meet the needs of clients, families and their communities throughout the pandemic while also keeping clients and staff safe. Some of these providers, especially smaller organizations, have been hit hard by reductions in donations and this funding commitment will help them keep going.

“We already had a mental health and addiction crisis in Ontario, COVID-19 made things worse”, said Adrienne Spafford, CEO of AMHO. “We feel a renewed hope with this announcement that efforts will get back on track with the implementation of the Roadmap to Wellness.”

Earlier this year, AMHO and its sector partners advocated for $100 million in urgent emergency pandemic funding to support the rising demands for mental health and addiction care. We applaud the government for responding to this urgent need, prioritizing mental health care and focusing on at-risk populations including children and youth.

AMHO continues to call for more engagement on and faster implementation of the Government’s Mental Health and Addiction Strategy, the Roadmap to Wellness, which strives to create a more comprehensive and connected mental health and addiction system. The work needs to start with the release of a comprehensive and coordinated $3.8 billion costed plan over ten years, that includes specific public targets for service improvements, from the provincial government. We look forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Health and the Centre of Excellence on this important work.

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For further information: Katie Heelis, 647-393-7744, kheelis@enterprisecanada.com