Ontario is investing $14.75 million to expand mental health and addictions services across the province.
According to the province, this investment is being provided through the Support for People and Jobs Fund and will help community-based mental health and addictions programs meet increasing service demands.
“We know mental health is just as important physical health,” Premier Doug Ford said on Thursday.
“Everyone, including our heroic frontline workers, can sometimes experience burnout, depression or anxiety. Even though you may feel alone or helpless, we want you to know that we have your back. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to some of the amazing mental health and addictions agencies in your local community. They are caring, compassionate and knowledgeable people who can help.”
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Around $7 million will be given to expand in-person mental health and addiction services to bridge current gaps brought on by COVID-19, including community-based services, congregate living and supportive housing.
And $4.75 million to support culturally safe services for Indigenous communities, with a focus on children and youth.
As well as $3 million to expand virtual and online services including addictions supports, internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) and an online peer support community for mental health.
The province also said that an additional $2.9 million is being invested in eight research projects to support Ontario’s response to COVID-19.
These projects will focus on a wide variety of areas like mental health and well-being of families and children, assessing the long-term health effects of COVID-19, the development of an app to better manage the care of patients, and an evaluation of the effectiveness of wearing masks to block the virus.