As part of the first wave of direct mental health and addictions funding, Niagara Health System is receiving eight new mental health beds which will be added to the existing 80 beds. The province is investing in urgently-needed mental health and addiction services in the Niagara Region. They are also committed to engaging with health care leaders, front line staff and people with lived experiences to address the critical gaps in the province’s mental health care system.
“I have been asked over and over again from both constituents and stakeholders alike that we receive more mental health beds” said Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West. “I’m excited to announce that those voices have been heard.”
“We are committed to ensure that each dollar goes directly to services that will make a significant difference to patients. This immediate investment will help lower wait times for those in need of inpatient mental health and addictions treatment.”
While the NHS awaits more specific details about their portion of the funding they are none-the-less appreciative of the government’s recognition for more support for mental health services in Niagara. “We welcome the additional funding from the provincial government to support mental health and addictions care at Niagara Health. Mental health and addictions is a priority for us and we appreciate the continued support of the provincial government,” said Linda Boich, Executive Vice President Quality, Community Development and Mental Health and Addictions.
Niagara Health’s Mental Health and Addictions Program supports people with serious mental illness and addictions needs across Niagara. Working closely with community partners, the program offers inpatient and outpatient services that promote recovery through timely access to quality care. The program boasts the largest physical footprint at our St. Catharines hospital. Since the hospital opened in 2013, the program has introduced a number of new specialized mental health and addictions programs, including services for patients requiring longer-term treatment in hospital and psychiatric emergency care.
The announcement is part of the government’s commitment to invest $3.8 billion over the next 10 years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.
Health Minister and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott said her team will be engaging with health care leaders, subject matter experts, sector partners and associations, health service providers and people with lived experience to better identify mental health and addiction needs across the province.
“These discussions will help inform decisions as we move forward with finally building a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system in Ontario,” said Minister Elliott. “Our government is committed to an Ontario where patients don’t need to be in crisis to get the mental health and addictions treatment they need, when they need it. We will continue to make mental health a priority and work toward creating an Ontario where everyone is fully supported in their journey toward mental wellness.”
Visit the NHS website to learn more about the mental health and addiction services available through the Niagara Health System.