SAULT STE MARIE ONTARIO February 15, 2020 (LSN) Today, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, was joined by Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities and MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, and Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, at The Indian Friendship Centre in Sault Ste. Marie to announce the government is investing $1.2 million in additional funding to expand community-based mental health and addictions services provided by First Nations and Indigenous organizations.
Ontario is expanding mental health, addictions and well-being services for First Nations and Indigenous organizations, helping to provide culturally-appropriate services closer to home.
"For the past year, we've been travelling the province to hear about the changes Ontarians expect to see in our mental health and addictions system," said Elliott. "Investing in culturally-appropriate, community-based services for First Nations and Indigenous people is another example of how our government is listening and delivering more accessible mental health and addictions services to meet the specific needs of communities."
This investment will help nearly 1,100 Indigenous clients by supporting:
"This investment is a demonstration of our government's commitment to improving front-line mental health and addictions services for First Nations and Indigenous communities across northern Ontario," said Romano. "I want to thank front-line workers for supporting this effort and look forward to working closely with community partners to ensure residents receive the services and supports they need to live happy and healthy lives."
Ontario continues to take a cross-government approach to build a better mental health and addictions system and will soon launch a new mental health and addictions roadmap that will meaningfully improve the care and services provided to all Ontarians, including First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people.
"Our government is continuing to fulfill on our promise of making mental health and addictions a priority," said Tibollo. "It is critical to respond to the gaps in service that affect Indigenous people across the province and continue working to meaningfully improve Ontario's mental health and addictions system and help build healthier communities."
"The leadership of Batchewana First Nation are thrilled about the fiscal support for the facilitation of our continuum of care by the Crown Government," said Dean Sayers, Chief of Batchewana First Nation. "There are many facets to this delicate issue that need to be addressed and having these additional resources to help expand our community-based mental health and addictions services is essential."
Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:
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