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Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Archived Backgrounder

Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Ontario's new Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will create more coordinated, responsive, client-centred mental health and addictions services throughout the province. It aims to:

  • Improve mental health and well-being for all Ontarians by:
    • Identifying mental health needs as early as possible and provide coordinated, high quality programs and services closer to home.
    • Improving mental health health literacy through targeted education and awareness programs to reach people most at risk.
    • Involving workplaces and encouraging them to develop and deliver education and awareness programs and services, while helping those with mental health and addictions issues to better cope in the workplace.

  • Create healthy, resilient, and inclusive communities by:
    • Reducing stigma and discrimination through more mental health promotion practices for children and youth, educators, health providers, workplaces, seniors' service providers, municipal service providers, justice providers and the public.
    • Building on current programs to deliver services through community settings.

  • Identify mental health and addiction problems early and lay down a foundation for good mental health early in life by focusing on kids first and:
    • Enhancing the capacity of our first responders to identify people with early signs and symptoms of mental health or addiction problems.
    • Building school based capacity and enhancing mental health resources at school.
    • Strengthening the capacity of family health care providers to offer mental health and addiction services.

  • Provide timely, high quality, integrated, person-directed services. For example:
    • Creating a single-access directory with information on mental health and addictions services, self-care and peer support.
    • Delivering mental health and addictions services in schools, universities, colleges, community services, settlement services and long-term care homes.
    • Improving transitions between different services, including between youth and adult services, between adult and seniors services and between the justice and health systems.
    • Better coordination across the health system to reduce avoidable emergency room visits, hospitalization and wait times.

Moving the Strategy Forward

Delivery and implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions Strategy will be a standing item at the Deputy Minister Social Policy Committee, including the development of common performance measures and clear accountabilities. The government will also establish a Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council of leaders from health, adult, and child/youth community-based mental health, education, justice, municipal sectors and consumers, to provide advice to the Ministers on the strategy.

Regional leadership will work with community partners to improve transitions between acute and community services, children/youth and adult services, and justice and health care systems.

Ensuring Accountability

The government will work with experts and stakeholders to develop performance measures for monitoring and reporting wait times, client experiences and health outcomes, as well as to standardize public reporting across Ontario. Every two years, the government will work with a Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council to develop a public progress report on the Mental Health and Addictions strategy.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts



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