- Stephen Lecce, MPP
Ontario Connecting Indigenous Communities to More Mental Health and Addictions Support
MUNCEY — Ontario has invested nearly $33 million in 2022-23 into over 100 mental health and addictions supports and programs designed to meet the needs of Indigenous communities across the province.
"For generations, Indigenous communities and elders have taught the importance of community-based, culturally-informed approaches to healing and wellness. It is critical that responses to challenges faced by Indigenous partners are anchored in partnership and collaboration,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Today marks another milestone in those partnerships; investing in connecting Indigenous communities to Indigenous land-based healing, health services, and upgraded healing centres and facilities.”
Up to $25 million in funding has gone directly to Indigenous organizations and communities across Ontario to deliver 93 unique initiatives to help create new spaces for mental health and addictions programs, upgrade infrastructure and equipment at existing facilities, and support the purchase of health and safety supplies. With this funding, organizations are also connecting Indigenous communities to traditional land and water-based healing programs and cultural knowledge to promote positive mental health and wellness.
In addition, almost $8 million in funding supports expanded health services including traditional healing, and access to trauma-informed care training. This benefits Indigenous communities across the province, especially in Northern Ontario.
“Our government recognizes that Indigenous peoples and communities have faced many barriers to accessing safe, effective mental health and addictions care,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “With this investment, we’re helping Indigenous communities in Ontario connect with the mental health care they need, when and where they need it.”
Through Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, Ontario is improving the health care experiences of people across the province by acknowledging the need to improve mental health and addictions services. The province is making care more connected and convenient, so all Ontarians can receive the care that’s right for them, when and where they need it. The Ontario government is working with Indigenous partners to ensure mental health and wellness programs effectively meet the needs of First Nations, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous communities. For Indigenous peoples, this includes mental health and addictions care that honours their culture and traditions.
Ontario’s mental health and addictions strategy, Roadmap to Wellness, sets out a vision for an Ontario where everyone has access to high-quality mental health and addictions treatment and support.
This strategy was informed by experts in Indigenous mental health and addictions, as well as Indigenous people with lived experience.
Since launching the Roadmap to Wellness, the province has invested $525 million annually to help mental health and addictions services expand to increase access to care and reduce wait times.
Building on the Roadmap to Wellness investments, the 2023 Budget includes an additional one-time investment of $424 million over three years to to support mental health and addictions services, including a five per cent increase in the base funding of community-based mental health and addictions services providers funded by the Ministry of Health.
"Ensuring that communities across the province stay vibrant and healthy starts with supporting the mental health of each and every Ontarian. That is why our government has developed a robust mental health plan featuring Indigenous-led healing practices that support real results for First Nations community members across the province."
- Greg Rickford Minister of Indigenous Affairs
"This investment is an important step towards promoting positive mental health and wellness, while also acknowledging the unique needs of Indigenous communities. We will continue to take action across government to ensure Indigenous communities can access the mental health and addictions support they need when, where and how they decide they need them."
- Michael Parsa Minister of Children, Community and Social Services
Roadmap to Wellness: A Plan to Build Ontario’s Mental Health and Addictions System
Ontario Expanding Mental Health Services for Children and Youth in Every Corner of the Province