Mental Health Centres Applaud Ontario Mental Health Strategy
Mental Health Centres Applaud Ontario Mental Health Strategy
Posted on 11/26/2014

Support for the first Mental Health Wait Times Strategy will improve access to care

The Ontario government’s next phase of its mental health strategy was welcomed by the province's specialty mental health centres: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores), The Royal, and Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care.

"The strategy began with an important investment in the early years and is now moving to a more comprehensive focus across the continuum from children to those in late life. We know that prevention and early intervention are critical. Building on this foundation, investing in youth at the critical point of transition to adulthood and ensuring we have the capacity to treat across the continuum will improve the lives of those with mental illness and addictions," said Carol Lambie, Waypoint President and CEO. 

That strategy includes investments to improve access and reduce wait times at the four specialty mental health centres.

"It’s time for action on mental health. Building on the work that has been done in other areas of health care, we will improve access to care by measuring and improving wait times to critical services in mental health care," said Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of CAMH.

The strategy also calls for an investment of $16 million to provide 1,000 more supportive housing spaces over the next three years.

"The journey to recovery demands integration and collaboration among all sectors and investments in key supports such as housing and employment which are critical to recovery. Today’s commitment to housing will improve the quality of life of people with mental illness and increase access to care," said Karim Mamdani, President and CEO of Ontario Shores. 

George Weber, President and CEO of The Royal, noted that "far too many people who need care are not getting it and sadly many are ending up in the wrong places like on the streets or in the criminal justice system; we should be improving treatment capacity for people with mental illness, so that no matter your age, location or other circumstances you are able to access the appropriate care and supports."

The four hospitals are working together as part of the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Quality Initiative committed to improving care, education and innovative research in mental health.