Ontario psychiatrists respond to Ontario's new plan for mental health and addictions

ONTARIO: The Ontario Psychiatric Association (OPA) welcomes the new plan for mental health and addictions in Ontario.

The strategy entitled Roadmap to Wellness a plan to build Ontario's mental health and addictions system is a much needed first step towards a more comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions system capable of serving the needs of all Ontarians.

While today's announcement marks a step in the right direction, the OPA strongly agrees with the Minister of Health that there is still a lot more work to be done by government to construct a mental health and addictions system that addresses the existing gaps, and that is capable of meeting the unique needs of people with complex mental health and addictions challenges. Ontario's front-line psychiatrists continue to see first-hand how a lack of resources and services including a finite number of psychiatrists, and a growing demand for services is failing patients with complex mental illness.

Better integration, improved access and navigation, as well as innovations in digital health are all important for a comprehensive and connected system, but without deliberate and sustained investments in the sector, the needs of Ontario's most vulnerable will continue to be unmet.

We are optimistic that the newly created Centre of Excellence for Mental Health and Addictions will work closely with providers and mental health and addictions professionals, and with psychiatrists to tackle long wait lists and the access challenges that remain for youth and adults who have complex mental health challenges. Ontario psychiatrists have several solutions and look forward to being active participants in those discussions going forward.

Only by working together can we build an equitable system for Ontarians across the province.
(PRN)

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Ontario psychiatrists respond to Ontario's new plan for mental health and addictions