Expanding Access to Mental Health Care

Expanded mental health and addiction care services are making sure children, youth, and adults get the support they need

There is no health without mental health. Yet many people — including children and youth — are facing serious mental health challenges. Nearly one in three people in Ontario will experience a mental health or addictions challenge in their lifetime.

In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Since then, as part of our commitment to provide better care for people with mental illness, the Ontario Liberal Government has improved access to mental health care, including free talk therapy, 17,000 new supportive housing units and Youth Wellness Hubs. We have fought the opioid overdose crisis and saved lives by funding harm reduction supports, supervised injection services and overdose prevention sites.

But we need to do more. No one in Ontario should struggle to access mental health or addictions care for themselves or their loved ones.

That’s why the Ontario Liberals will make a historic $2.1 billion additional investment in mental health care to make sure that whatever your age or wherever you live in our province, you will have fast and easy access to the care that’s right for you. Our plan will:

  • Significantly reduce wait times for children and youth needing mental health and addiction care by providing approximately 46,000 young people with the services they need
  • Create a 24/7 provincial help line to provide fast access to help and crisis counselling
  • Double the provincial network of Youth Wellness Hubs, which provide one-stop access to mental health services and smooth the transition from the child and youth system to the adult one
  • Meet the specific needs of LGBTQ2S, francophone, racialized, immigrant and Indigenous children, youth and adults
  • Provide caregivers and family members supporting a loved one with more support, including family counselling and respite services
  • Hire 400 more mental health workers in high schools
  • Fund more mental health promotion workers on college and university campuses and improve connections between campuses and mental health services
  • Further expand access to supportive housing by funding 2,475 additional units
  • Enhance publicly funded addictions treatment services
  • Expand access to free psychotherapy for up to 350,000 more people with anxiety and depression
  • Reduce wait times by increasing funding by three per cent for community-based providers of adult mental illness and addictions care and adding 100 new acute mental health and addictions hospital beds across the province
  • Partner with municipalities to tackle local mental health issues, such as homelessness or youth suicide, by bringing partners together to better coordinate care and integrate local services
  • Continue to work with front-line health care workers and people with lived experience to combat the opioid crisis, including expanding access to publicly funded withdrawal management and addiction treatment programming across the province

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