improve the lives of all Ontarians
There is a mental health and addiction crisis in Ontario. The demand for mental health and addictions services and supports has never been higher. Clients often face challenges in getting the help they need, close to home and in a timely manner. Mental health and addictions providers are facing challenges as well, including working through a health human resources crisis and rising costs.
AMHO collects stories from providers, people with lived/living experience, caregivers and families, paired with research and best practices, to advocate for access to high-quality services.
Key Funding PrioritiesWith input from its membership, the AMHO has identified three priority areas for funding that are critical to building a truly comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system of care in Ontario.
Reduce Wait Lists
As people wait to receive care in the community, their conditions can become more acute or severe. If people are unable to access services from community mental health and addictions providers, they often turn to emergency departments that are already above capacity. We therefore must improve the access to and availability of community-based services across the province, by investing in community mental health and addiction services.
Address Health Human Resources Challenges
Low salaries in the mental health and addiction care sector are leading to higher staff turnover, understaffing, burnout and longer wait times for clients. Increased base funding will allow our members to offer more competitive compensation to recruit and retain trained and experienced staff to improve service delivery and address wait lists. Additionally, government can increase education and training opportunities to add new staff to the sector or broaden the experience of existing staff. This can include incentivizing students to enter mental health and addictions post-secondary programs through the provision of grants.
Address Rising Costs
The community mental health and addiction sector has been underfunded for decades. More base funding will help meet the rising cost of services, food, and housing for clients, to prevent the closure of programs.
Without timely access to the right supports, where and when they need it, Ontarians face worsening health conditions. You can learn more by downloading No Time to Wait – Budget Submission 2023.