CEO of Wellesley Institute, Dr. Kwame McKenzie, has been invited to sit on the new Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council. Dr. McKenzie will sit along with other distinguished members, including the council’s chair Susan Pigott, a leading expert in the field of mental health and community development, to provide advice on the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions strategy, launched in 2011. The council will advise on the strategy’s investments, promote collaboration across sectors and report annually on the strategy’s progress.
Wellesley Institute is encourage and pleased by the fact that the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care has recognized the importance of social determinants in their mental health strategy.
Investing in community mental health and addiction services supports Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care and Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. It is also part of the Ontario government’s four part economic plan to build Ontario up by investing in people’s talent and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.
- More than 770 new mental health workers are now providing services for children and youth in communities, schools and courts.
- The Tele-Mental Health Service has been expanded to 35 rural, remote and underserved communities and is now providing psychiatric consultations to over 2,500 children and youth.
- In its first year, Ontario’s youth suicide prevention plan provided $1 million to mental health agencies to enhance local youth suicide prevention efforts.
- It is estimated that 20 per cent of Ontarians will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, with one out of 40 Ontarians having a serious mental illness.
- By 2017, the government will have increased annual funding for mental health and addictions by a total of $176 million since it launched the Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in 2011.