Ontario Increasing Access to Mental Health Care in North Simcoe
Province Investing in Two Facilities to Better Integrate Mental Health Care for Patients and Families
Ontario is increasing access to high quality mental health care services for people in North Simcoe, with support for a new wing at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) and a new outpatient facility at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Midland.
Ann Hoggarth, MPP for Barrie, was at GBGH's Midland site on behalf of Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, to announce Ontario's investment in the two sites. Waypoint and GBGH will partner to serve patients requiring immediate treatment for sudden onset mental illness at GBGH, as well as those who need longer-term treatment, to provide better integrated care.
The new 16,600 square-foot wing at GBGH in Midland will provide acute inpatient mental health services for people in need of emergency mental health care. This facility will include 20 beds transferred from Waypoint, so that people can be better served with close access to emergency services, should they be required. The new wing is scheduled to open in March 2021.
Ontario is also supporting the construction of a new 40,000 square-foot Waypoint/CHIGAMIK facility that will have community mental health programs located together with CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre primary care services. It will house mental health services for patients transitioning from acute care at GBGH, with support such as employment and education programs, recreation therapy, and housing, social and community integration services.
Additional services provided by Waypoint will include community-based assessment, treatment and support for adults with serious mental illness. The Waypoint/CHIGAMIK facility will bring together comprehensive physical and mental health care services in the same location. It is scheduled to open in Summer 2019.
Ontario is increasing access to care, reducing wait times and improving the patient experience through its Patients First Action Plan for Health Care and OHIP+: Children and Youth Pharmacare - protecting health care today and into the future.
- Approximately 30 per cent of people in Ontario will experience mental illness and/or substance abuse at some point in their lifetime.
- The Waypoint project includes making about 15,000 square feet suitable for use at the new facility in Midland.
- Ontario is providing $72.6 million of additional funding over the next three years to support psychotherapy programs. This is part of the province’s $140 million investment in mental health services over three years, which is in addition to the $3.7 billion that Ontario invested in mental health services in 2015-16.
- Over the next three years, Ontario is investing more than $222 million to combat the opioid crisis in Ontario, including expanding harm reduction services, hiring more front-line staff and improving access to addictions supports across the province.
“Investing in mental health care in North Simcoe will give people access to high quality mental health treatment and support, close to home. These two important investments will provide integrated mental health care for the community, and are yet another step towards transforming mental health and addictions treatment across Ontario.”
“Improving access to mental health care is crucial to ensuring that Ontarians are able to live healthy and fulfilling lives. I am thrilled that this grant will help to deliver these necessary services in Simcoe County.”
“Georgian Bay General Hospital has received great support from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in the planning process for an inpatient mental health unit. We see an increasing demand for mental health services at GBGH each year. By providing 20 mental health beds, less patients will have to travel outside their community for care.”
“While Waypoint will be sad to see the program move after providing these services for many decades, this is good news for our residents as they will be treated in a community hospital with an emergency department for their short-term illness just as they would for other acute illnesses or health crisis. We are pleased to partner with GBGH’s future inpatient mental health program through our outpatient services that will be relocated to the new Waypoint/CHIGAMIK Community Health Hub. On behalf of CHIGAMIK Community Health Centre and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care I extend our thanks to the Ministry for also moving the health hub forward.”
“These investments in mental health and community health care will contribute to building more person-centred and accessible care to the residents of this region. This project aligns closely with the health care priorities of the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network.”