TORONTO, ON (September 27, 2021) – As many Ontarians experience increased mental health and substance use challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Addictions and Mental Health Ontario (AMHO) was proud to be joined by Deputy Premier and Health Minister Christine Elliott, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones today at Pine River Institute to recognize September as Recovery Month.
This Recovery Month follows 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic and the mental health and addiction crisis occurring in parallel, with nearly 75% of Ontarians reporting increased addiction and mental health challenges.
“Challenging the stigma around addiction and substance use has never been more important,” said AMHO’s CEO, Adrienne Spafford. “It’s important that Ontarians know that they are not alone. There are supports and services available to them whether they need harm reduction services, mental health support or addiction treatment. Every person in this province deserves to feel supported to reach out for help when they need it.”
AMHO is pleased that the government of Ontario has increased its focus on mental health and addiction including by officially declaring September as Recovery Month through Bill 250, brought forward earlier this year by MPP Vincent Ke. Recovery Month presents an opportunity to advance important conversations on treatment options across the spectrum of harm reduction and addiction services.
“We need to work together to break down societal stigmas surrounding addiction, ensure that people feel supported, and create a recovery system that works for everyone’s unique needs. It is essential to pandemic recovery,” said Spafford.
AMHO is a leading voice for addiction and mental health care in Ontario representing nearly 200 addiction and mental health organizations. Our members provide services and supports that help Ontarians with their recovery, and we look forward to working with government, people with lived experience, their loved ones and caregivers to combat stigma, and expand access to treatment options that work for everyone.
Contribute to #RecoveryMonth conversations online by tagging @AMHOnt and using the hashtags #CelebrateRecovery and #TogetherWeCan.