Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker was joined by Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, the Honourable Michael Tibollo, to announce that the Ontario government is investing $6,007,900 through the new Addictions Recovery Fund to immediately enhance access to addictions treatment supports in Owen Sound.
Minister Tibollo joined with MPP Walker at a special virtual event to announce the funding. This funding will be provided to Grey Bruce Health Services to expand access to a total of 36 new addictions treatment beds, helping hundreds of local residents in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound access specialized addictions treatment.
“Now more than ever, it is critically important to ensure that everyone can access the safe and effective mental health and addictions services they deserve – when and where they need them,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Investing in mental health and addictions services in Owen Sound, like those offered at Grey Bruce Health Services, is just one way our government is helping to ensure all Ontarians have access to the high-quality mental health and addictions care that meet their unique needs and have opportunities for treatment and recovery.”
Grey Bruce Health Service’s Mental Health & Addictions department offers a wide range of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services. Funding through the new Addictions Recovery Fund will provide access to 14 addiction treatment beds, 12 withdrawal management beds and 10 supportive treatment beds.
“This is a significant investment in our community and I thank Minister Tibollo for his continued support,” said Walker. “With this funding, Grey Bruce Health Services will be able to expand its mental health and addictions programs to ensure our local residents have access to the supports and treatments they need.”
“We are very excited to secure this funding so we can support the growing number of people struggling with mental health and substance use in our communities,” said Gary Sims, GBHS President and CEO. “Thanks to this funding, we will be able to open 36 more beds to serve people with complex mental health and addictions needs, bringing the total to 45. This will be the largest expansion of mental health services that we’ve had in this region for decades.”
Studies have shown that opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic, with rates being three times higher in Northern Ontario. To meet the demand for treatment, the new Addictions Recovery Fund will support almost 400 new addictions treatment beds across the province, helping to stabilize and provide care for approximately 7,000 clients per year. This includes clients in northern, rural and Indigenous communities. Addictions Recovery Fund investments in other addictions services and supports across the province include:
· Eight new Youth Wellness Hubs offering developmentally tailored primary care and mental health and addictions treatment for youth ages 12 to 25;
· Two new Mobile Mental Health Clinics to provide a full suite of mental health and addictions services directly to individuals living in remote, rural and underserved communities;
· Three new police-partnered Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support individuals in a mental health or addictions crisis;
· Support for Indigenous-led land-based healing services; and
· Additional community supports including day/evening intensive treatment, mild to moderate intensive treatment, and after-care programs.
“Every year, more than one million people in Ontario experience a mental health or addictions challenge,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “That’s why our government is continuing to fulfill our commitment of making mental health and addictions a priority by investing in targeted addictions services.”