Ontario Expanding Mental Health and Addictions Services in Espanola and Surrounding Region

Press Release

Funding Will Improve Access to Specialized Addictions Services and Supports

March 22, 2022

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Quotes
  4. Additional Resources

ESPANOLA — The Ontario government is investing over $1.2 million through the new Addictions Recovery Fund to immediately enhance access to addictions treatment supports in Espanola and Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation. This funding will be provided to Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre and Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation to expand access to a total of 10 new addictions treatment beds, helping hundreds of Ontarians in Espanola and the surrounding region access to culturally appropriate and safe addictions treatment.

“With this investment, we’re ensuring communities throughout the province have access to culturally appropriate mental health and addictions supports,” said Michael Tibollo, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “Our government will continue making sizeable investments in Northern Ontario to fill urgent gaps in care, and ensure individuals and families across Ontario have access to safe and effective mental health and addictions services, when and where they need them.”

Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre provides mental health and addictions treatment through a Rapid Access Addiction Medicine Clinic (RAAM), focusing on individual assessment and developing treatment plans. Funding through the new Addictions Recovery Fund will provide access to a new withdraw management service bed and an additional supportive treatment bed.

Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation provides mental health, addictions, and cultural services to members of the community and funding through the new Addictions Recovery Fund will provide access to eight new addiction treatment beds.

In addition, funding through the Addictions Recovery Fund will support the development of an Indigenous-led Youth Wellness Hub located in Sagamok Anishnabek First Nation. This new Youth Wellness Hub will provide culturally appropriate and safe supports to Indigenous youth between the ages of 12-24. This project will be led by Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation, in partnership with Youth Wellness Hubs Ontario.

Studies have shown that opioid-related deaths surged by 79 per cent during the first two waves of the pandemic, with rates being three times higher in Northern Ontario. To meet the demand for treatment, the new Addictions Recovery Fund will support almost 400 new addictions treatment beds across the province, helping to stabilize and provide care for approximately 7,000 clients per year. This includes clients in northern, rural and Indigenous communities. Addictions Recovery Fund investments in other addictions services and supports across the province include:

  • Eight new Youth Wellness Hubs offering developmentally tailored primary care and mental health and addictions treatment for youth ages 12 to 25;
  • Two 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;
  • Three new police-partnered Mobile Crisis Response Teams to support individuals in a mental health or addictions crisis;
  • Support for Indigenous-led land-based healing services; and
  • Additional community supports including day/evening intensive treatment, mild to moderate intensive treatment, and after-care programs.

“Every year, more than one million people in Ontario experience a mental health or addictions challenge,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “That’s why our government is continuing to fulfill our commitment of making mental health and addictions a priority by investing in targeted addictions services.”

Quick Facts

  • The $90 million Addictions Recovery Fund complements, but is separate from, the $175 million Roadmap to Wellness investment announced in the 2021 Budget, and is being invested over three years. Investments of $7.2 million are being made in 2021-22, and $41.39 million in each of 2022-23 and 2023-24.
  • As part of Budget 2021, Ontario is investing $32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over 10 years to implement Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario’s comprehensive plan to build a modern, connected, and high-quality mental health and addictions system centred around the needs of individuals and their families.
  • As part of this $32.7 million investment in annualized funding, the Ontario government committed $18.8 million towards bed-based addictions services for adults and youth who need intensive supports. This investment included $7.85 million for a total of 90 new treatment beds determined through an Ontario Health-led provincial call for applications in summer/fall 2021.
  • In 2020-2021, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the province invested up to $194 million in one-time emergency funding for mental health and addictions services.
  • 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 can also register their patients for this service.
  • 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.

Quotes

“We are extremely grateful for Minister Tibollo’s announcement and this government’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of our rural community. The demand for withdrawal management services has grown substantially and this investment in mental health and addictions care is critical to building local system capacity. The opportunity to further strengthen care pathways with Sagamok and improve access to specialized high-quality addictions treatment within our region will truly improve the patient journey across the continuum of care.”

– Jane Battistelli
COO of Espanola Regional Hospital and Health Centre

Additional Resources

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