The provincial government is investing in programs to help support seniors at home as well as people who are experiencing Mental health and addiction challenges in the Algoma area, announced David Orazietti, MPP.
“By continuing to invest in vital community services for seniors, we’re helping to connect people with the support they need closer to home,” said Orazietti. “We have all been touched by those experiencing mental health and addiction challenges and these investments will improve the lives of people experiencing mental illness and addictions challenges – and the families that help care for them.”
The province is investing more than $ 2.6 million in the Sault and Algoma through the North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) for high priority services.
Mental Health/Addictions and Assisted Living Investments in Sault Ste. Marie:
· Algoma case management ($411,425): Algoma Public Health (APH), Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Sault Ste. Marie, and the Sault Area Hospital are working together to support people with mental illnesses or addictions as they transition from the hospital into the community.
· Supportive housing ($639,159): The Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation and CMHA Sault Ste. Marie are providing ten people with severe mental illnesses with access to supportive housing that is staffed around the clock. The NE LHIN has also provided $5,000 for mental health training for municipal staff involved in housing.
· Help for women who are disadvantage, have mental illnesses, or addictions ($40,000): Phoenix Rising Woman’s Center will work to find a more accessible site and increased staff hours at its drop in centre in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.
· Assisted living – Up to 10 high risk seniors ($250,000) in Sault Ste. Marie: The Ontario March of Dimes will work with the Sault Area Hospital to identify ALC patients currently waiting in hospital who could be supported in community and at home.
· Assisted living – Up to 24 high risk seniors in Sault Ste. Marie ($600,000): delivered by the Canadian Red Cross Society.
Mental Health/Addictions and Assisted Living Investments in North Shore-Elliot Lake area of Algoma:
· Mamaweswen – North Shore Tribal Council ($208,820): To enhance existing mental health services and improve coordination for services delivered to the First Nation communities along the North Shore.
· Benbowopka Treatment Centre – formerly known as Anishanabie Naadmaagi Gamig Substance Abuse Treatment ($136,000): Enhanced staffing to better serve complex clients for opiate drug withdrawal and aftercare.
· Assisted living ($250,000): Up to 10 high risk seniors in Elliot Lake delivered by Huron Lodge’s campus/mobile program.
· Assisted living ($100,000): Up to five high risk seniors delivered by Mamaweswen – North Shore Tribal Council in their area.
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.
“The North East LHIN is investing in seniors and people with mental health and addiction issues in the Algoma area so that they can get the help they need and be supported in their communities,” said Louise Paquette, CEO of the North East LHIN.
“This funding will provide people with complex and severe mental illness and addiction issues an opportunity to be housed in suitable, accessible, affordable, sustainable and permanent 24 hour/7 days a week supportive housing,” said Annette Katajamaki, Executive Director, Canadian Mental Health Association Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma Branch. “Evidence suggests appropriate supportive housing will provide a number of distinct advantages for those with Severe Mental Illness (SMI), including a reduction in hospital admissions, ambulance rides, psychiatric symptoms, substance use, and offer improved housing, health and socialization as well as financial stability and a better quality of life.”
“Assistance with activities of daily living allow seniors to remain living comfortably and independently in their own homes, while also providing peace of mind and respite to family members,” said Tanya Elliott, Director General, Canadian Red Cross. “This funding will allow the Canadian Red Cross to expand services and ensure the health and well-being of more seniors in our community.”
“This announcement demonstrated the importance of partnership and I commend the work the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation and the Sault Ste. Marie-Algoma branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. I also thank Minister Orazietti for his support and the support of his government,” said Mayor Provenzano. “This partnership and the funding announcement that flows from it are proof positive that when we work together with common goal we can improve our community.”