Investing in Community Mental Health and Addictions Services In Waterloo Wellington
Ontario Connecting People with the Care They Need Closer to Home
March 6, 2015
Ontario is investing in local mental health and addictions organizations in Waterloo Wellington to provide care closer to home for those who are experiencing mental health and addictions challenges. Ontario is also creating a province-wide registry of mental health beds to connect those experiencing a mental health crisis with the closest available bed.
The Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network is investing $2 million for 2014-15 in local communities for high priority services such as:
- Funding for 12 new spots for Extraordinary Needs Program. This program provides supports connected to housing for persons with severe and persistent mental health and/or addictions issues.
- New funding to support community based counselling treatment, specifically for those presenting with eating disorders and self-harm issues.
- New funding for addictions support coordination – or addictions specific case management.
- New funding to extend the current mobile crisis team working with Waterloo Regional Police into both Guelph Police and Rural Wellington OPP.
- New funding to support Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) teams to serve more individuals in a mobile capacity who have severe and persistent mental health and/or addictions issues.
The next phase of Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy includes $138 million over three years for community agencies to support improvements to mental health and addictions services, through Local Health Integration Networks.
Supporting mental health and addictions services closer to home is part of Ontario's Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. It is also part of the government's four-part plan to build Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
“We have all been touched by mental health and addiction challenges - whether through a friend, a co-worker, a family member or our own experience. By continuing to invest in community services, we’re helping to connect people with the support they need closer to home through settings that are more culturally appropriate and personal. These investments will improve the lives of people experiencing mental illness and addictions challenges - and the families that help care for them.”
— Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
“These investments in local mental health and addictions agencies will make it easier for residents of Guelph Wellington and Waterloo to access services when they need help the most. I am especially pleased that the very successful mobile crisis team working with Waterloo Regional Police will be extended into Guelph Police and Rural Wellington OPP. These crisis teams which put health care workers such as mental health nurses in police cars with officers when they respond to a mental health emergency are a welcome addition to our existing programs because they address problems before they reach a crisis stage.”
— Liz Sandals, MPP for Guelph
“We are witnessing positive results from programs such as the mobile crisis team and Connectivity Tables, which combines resources to better help residents who are in need. Police officers, nurses, and social workers are working in new and different ways to address problems before they become a crisis for police or the health system. It’s about doing things differently and getting even better results.”
— Bruce Lauckner, Chief Executive Officer, Waterloo Wellington Local Health
“Ontario’s investment in programs that touch us all continues to pay dividends in communities like Cambridge. As a nurse and former care coordinator I saw first-hand the impact that these kinds of investments had on people’s lives. It means individuals and families will be able to access life changing supports right here in our own community.”
— Kathryn McGarry, MPP for Cambridge
- Ontario is also creating a province-wide registry of mental health beds to connect those experiencing a mental health crisis with the closet available bed. This will mean shorter wait times for care, providing doctors, first responders and emergency departments with up-to-date information about available inpatient beds across the province. Currently, there are 4,700 inpatient mental health beds in more than 80 facilities across Ontario.
- Approximately 30 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health and/or substance abuse problem at some point in their lifetime, with one out of 40 Ontarians having a serious mental illness.
- By 2017, the government will have increased annual funding for mental health and addictions by a total of $172 million since it launched the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in 2011.
For more information, contact:
Office of Liz Sandals, MPP
Communications Lead – Communications & Media Relations
519.650.4472, Ext. 203
Toll free 1 866 306 5446