PETERBOROUGH — The Ontario government is improving access to mental health and addictions care for unserved and underserved areas in Peterborough and the surrounding region by investing in a new mobile mental health and addictions clinic. As committed to through Ontario’s 2021 budget, the government is creating four new mobile mental health clinics to provide a full suite of mental health and addictions services directly to individuals living in remote, rural and underserved communities across Ontario.
The mobile mental health and addictions clinic will provide individuals a variety of services together under one roof. As the clinic operates within a custom-built retrofitted bus, it reduces the need for people to travel to find services and can meet more clients in more places. This is a critical investment, especially for those living in rural and remote communities that have identified gaps in mental health and addictions services.
“Through our government’s Roadmap to Wellness we are committed to breaking down barriers to accessing high-quality mental health and addictions services where and when it’s needed,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This innovative partnership will help to bring needed mental health and addictions services directly to individuals living in Peterborough and the surrounding areas.”
The clinic will include a multidisciplinary team of mental health and addictions service providers, as well as appropriately trained social workers and/or nurse practitioners who can deliver a wide range of services, including intake and brief services, referrals to existing services, and psychiatric support and follow-up.
The Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (CMHA-HKPR), which provides programming and services to the counties of Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough and the City of Kawartha Lakes, will be the organization responsible for overseeing the development and operation of the mobile mental health clinic in Peterborough.
“Since the release of Roadmap to Wellness last year, our government’s top priority has been to continue making critical investments that will fill urgent gaps in mental health and addictions care, reduce waiting lists and address extensive wait times,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Through the development of the mobile mental health clinic, clients and families in Peterborough and the surrounding region will have greater access to high-quality, evidence-based care, in a setting where they are fully supported on their journey towards recovery.”
- As part of Roadmap to Wellness, the 2021 Budget committed $175 million in new annualized funding to expand and enhance mental health and addictions services this year, contributing to a total increase of $525 million in net new annualized funding for mental health and addictions services since 2019. Roadmap to Wellness investments have supported a range of services, including for children and youth, justice-related services, mobile crisis teams, supportive housing and programs supporting at-risk populations.
- In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, in 2020-21 the province invested up to $194 million in one-time emergency funding for mental health and addictions services, including virtual supports which have been accessed by more than 111,000 Ontarians.
- Ontario is also investing $23.6 million to support internet-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which has been accessed by over 68,000 Ontarians since the province launched this program during the COVID-19 pandemic, including over 8,100 health care workers.
- The Ontario government is investing $2.5 million in Breaking Free Online, an innovative therapy tool that makes it faster and easier for Ontarians to access safe and effective addictions supports. Ontarians can register at www.breakingfreeonline.ca and have free access to programming and resources for two years. Mental health and addictions service providers, such as counselors and therapists, can also register their patients for this service to complement their addiction treatment program.
- Under the 2021 Budget, Ontario is investing an additional $1.8 billion in the hospital sector in 2021-2022, bringing the total additional investment in hospitals since the start of the pandemic to over $5.1 billion. This includes an increase of $778 million in funding to meet current and future demands for services, and ensures all publicly funded hospitals will receive a minimum 1 per cent increase to help them keep pace with patient needs and to increase access to high-quality care for patients and families across Ontario.
- Visit COVID-19: Support for People to find information about the many available, confidential and free mental health and addictions services and supports for Ontarians of all ages.
"We’re pleased with the Provincial Government’s commitment to addressing inequities in rural mental health and addictions care in the communities we serve through this investment. The launch of this program is a monumental step in bringing a specialized mobile mental health and addictions care to underserviced and under-resourced communities."
- Mark Graham
Chief Executive Officer, CMHA HKPR
"With today’s funding, we continue our important work through Roadmap to Wellness to enhance services, fill urgent gaps in care and build a treatment network that will support children and youth, families, and communities on their journey to wellness. The mobile mental health and addictions clinic will help ensure clients in Peterborough and surrounding areas can receive the appropriate care and support they need in a timely manner and in the right setting, helping improve outcomes and avoiding hospital admissions."
- David Piccini
MPP, Northumberland-Peterborough South
"Bringing mental health and addictions supports and services directly to the people who need them is another way our government is breaking down barriers and making these important services readily available. This mobile clinic will support individuals and families in the CMHA-HKPR catchment area and help address gaps in mental health and addictions care."
- Laurie Scott
MPP, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock
"Mental health doesn’t respect geography; it isn’t an issue centred in our cities. Our rural communities such as North Kawartha and Havelock have been unserved for too long. We’ll bring the services to you. Mobile mental health and addictions services will provide comprehensive and accessible support for those living beyond the city limits."
- Dave Smith
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- For people under 18, you can visit Resources Around Me to locate child and youth mental health services in your area. You can also visit Ontario’s website to find mental health supports for children and youth under the age of 18. Information is also available on our Health Care Options web portal
- Learn about opioids and how to reduce the risk of overdose.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.