Mulmer, Ontario. September 29, 2022 – Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) was excited to host Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Sylvia Jones at Pine River Institute. Minister Jones toured the facility and sat down with AMHO CEO Alisha Tharani and Pine River Institute’s CEO Vaughan Dowie for a discussion about supporting Ontario’s mental health and substance use health sector.
The meeting was held as we approach the end of Recovery Month, the annual month recognizing and celebrating the different paths to recovery and destigmatizing substance use.
“AMHO is grateful for the opportunity to meet with Minister Jones and showcase the impact of the support the addictions sector in Ontario provides,” said Tharani. “Recovery Month is an opportunity for us to reflect on the important contributions of the people and systems that help Ontarians on their path to recovery. We used today’s conversation as an opportunity to discuss funding challenges, the need for a base funding increase and the need to address the health human resources crisis in our sector.”
Overdose rates in Ontario have risen dramatically in recent years, with three times more deaths in 2021 compared to 2017. AMHO’s 2022 budget recommendations call on the government to respond urgently to the crisis and for immediate support for community-based mental health and addictions providers.
Pine River Institute supports young people suffering from addiction by offering family-centred treatment and education. Its live-in treatment programs give teenagers and their families opportunities to receive therapy and support in a safe and nurturing environment.
“I’m incredibly proud of the support our team offers to youth and their families in our community and across the province,” said Dowie. “With government’s support we have been able to double the size of our program and our impact over the last several years. However, following the pandemic the demand for care continues to grow. We have worked closely with Minister Jones as our MPP for many years and we will continue to work closely with her, and the rest of government to continue to strengthen and expand Ontario’s addiction and mental health sector.”