Ontario Improving Access to Mental Health Services

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mental health
Image Credit: Total Shape/totalshape.com

TORONTO —The Ontario government is investing over $34.6 million to support upgrades and the addition of new facilities at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) so they can continue to provide high-quality care and better address the unique mental health needs of patients.

“Investing in projects like the redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health unit is one more way our government is delivering on our commitment to build a comprehensive mental health and addictions system for all Ontarians,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will give patients access to high-quality care and services that meets their unique needs in a safe, recovery-oriented environment.”

CAMH’s forensic mental health program currently operates out of an old, institutional building that was not built for modern concepts of forensic health care. The expansion includes upgrades to the existing forensic services facility and additional indoor and outdoor support spaces. Once completed, the newly renovated space will include dedicated family visitation areas in the inpatient units, enclosed outdoor areas to support recovery, outpatient services, security and building support services.

The redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health program is the fourth and final part of the hospital’s broader redevelopment project. This new funding brings the province’s total investment in the project to over $37 million.

“Since the release of Roadmap to Wellness last year, our top priority has been to continue making critical investments that will fill urgent gaps in mental health and addictions care and ensure that Ontario’s most vulnerable populations have targeted and reliable access to the support they need,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “The redevelopment of CAMH’s forensic mental health program will ensure that individuals who need emergency mental health support receive the most appropriate care, in a specialized setting where they are fully supported.”

In addition, the Ontario government is taking further action to support CAMH during the COVID-19 pandemic by increasing the hospital’s operating funding for the third straight year, with over $13.9 million in additional operating funding in 2021/22. This represents an increase of approximately 4.5 per cent from 2020/21.

“This is a significant milestone as we enter the fourth and final phase of CAMH’s ambitious redevelopment project,” said Tracey MacArthur, President and CEO of CAMH. “The new building will bring to life our vision of secure recovery. This is based on the idea that for recovery to take place, patients need access to rehabilitative programming, an environment of trust, and the ability to develop relationships with those providing their care. All patients deserve to receive care in dignified spaces that promote healing and recovery.”

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