For Immediate Release - June 22, 2011 (Toronto) – An alliance of mental health and addictions organizations welcomed the Ontario government’s mental health and addiction strategy, released today, as a key step to building better, more comprehensive care and support for people living with a mental health condition or addiction. The Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance is working to place the needs of people with mental health challenges and addictions on the agenda for this fall’s provincial election campaign.
“The strategy unveiled today helps build a foundation for more equitable access to mental health and addictions services in Ontario,” said Glenna Raymond, President and CEO, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences “We look forward to hearing more about how we can collectively work with government to further improve access to mental health and addiction services across the continuum of care.”
The government’s strategy contains some key elements strongly supported by the Alliance, such as:
- Increased access to services for children and youth
- Identification of core institutional, residential and community services required at the regional and local level
- A leadership structure that will ensure that mental health and addictions stays on the government agenda.
“We are encouraged by the investment the government has made into improving child and youth mental health and addictions care,” said Gordon Floyd, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario. “This strategy will help ensure that young people get the help they need, when they need it.”
The Alliance will be looking to all political parties to make a commitment to mental health and addictions in the coming election, and is engaging voters across the province to get involved.
“There is currently an enormous gap between the need for mental health and addictions services and their availability,” said Deb Sherman, Executive Director, Ontario Peer Development Initiative. “In the coming election campaign, voters will expect to hear how each party plans to change that.”
About the Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance (www.vote4mha.ca): The Ontario Mental Health and Addictions Alliance is a broadly based coalition of provincial organizations from across the continuum of care – from community to hospital services and consumer and family organizations.
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