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Improving Quality and Delivery of Mental Health and Addictions Services

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Improving Quality and Delivery of Mental Health and Addictions Services

Province Continues to Build Healthier Communities with the Creation of The Centre of Excellence

Ministry of Health

Ontario continues to make meaningful improvements to the province's mental health and addictions system so that all Ontarians can easily access high-quality mental health and addictions services.

Yesterday, with the proclamation of the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence Act, the new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence has been formally established within Ontario Health. This new centre will serve as the foundation on which the province will build a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system.

"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 Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "Serving as the foundation for Ontario's new mental health and addictions plan, which will be announced in the near future, the new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence will have a key role in improving the availability and quality of mental health and addictions services for all Ontarians, where and when they need them."

The Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence will for the first time in Ontario's history drive the broad, systemic transformation necessary to enable real and significant improvements to the quality and availability of services. The centre will do so by:

  • Acting as a central point of oversight for mental health and addictions care;
  • Being responsible for standardizing and monitoring the quality and delivery of evidence-based services and clinical care, to provide a better and more consistent patient experience in communities across the province;
  • Working together with sector experts, community-based providers, people with lived experience, families, caregivers and clinical researchers to create a consistent set of services and standards; and
  • Providing support and resources to Ontario Health Teams as they help patients navigate the system and connect patients to the mental health and addictions services they need.

The Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence will play a critical role to help standardize and organize the mental health and addictions sector by providing the tools, data, performance indicators and common infrastructure to disseminate evidence and set service expectations. This will support the implementation of the new mental health and addictions roadmap and the province's cross-government approach to meaningfully improve the care and services provided to Ontarians.

"With more than one million people in Ontario experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge every year, our government knows how important it is to fulfill our promise of making mental health and addictions a priority," said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. "By establishing a new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence, we're continuing to move in the right direction toward building a comprehensive and connected system of services that works for all Ontarians."

"We are extremely excited to have the new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence as a part of Ontario Health," said Matthew Anderson, President and CEO, Ontario Health. "We look forward to adapting what we know has worked to improve care for cancer and cardiac patients. In partnership with the many committed professionals working on the frontline, we can set evidence-based provincial standards to improve access and outcomes, establish routine reporting on how well the system is performing, and foster strong clinical leadership to champion targeted improvements for patients and their families."

Ontario has a comprehensive plan to end hallway health care, which includes making investments and advancing new initiatives across four pillars:

  1. Prevention and health promotion: keeping patients as healthy as possible in their communities and out of hospitals, including increasing access to early-intervention mental health and addictions services.
  2. Providing the right care in the right place: when patients need care, ensure that they receive it in the most appropriate setting, not always the hospital. This includes expanding community-based mental health and addictions services to alleviate pressures on hospital emergency departments.  
  3. Integration and improved patient flow: better integrate care providers to ensure patients spend less time waiting in hospitals when they are ready to be discharged.
  4. Building capacity: build new hospital and long-term care beds while increasing community-based services across Ontario, including expanding community-based mental health and addictions services.

Quick Facts

  • For 2019-20, the government is investing a total of $174 million more in annualized funding for mental health and addictions programs, to fill urgent gaps in care.
  • Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new mental health and addictions services and expand existing programs.
  • Every year, more than one million people in Ontario experience a mental health or addictions challenge.

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