Ontario's mental health and addictions system plan

On March 3rd, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, launched Roadmap to wellness: a plan to build Ontario's mental health and addictions system. The Roadmap provides a clear path forward toward offering Ontarians easier access to higher-quality care and supports in communities where and when they need it.

The new Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence within Ontario Health will serve as the foundation on which Roadmap to Wellness is built. The centre will:

  • establish a central point of accountability and oversight for mental health and addictions care
  • be responsible for standardizing and monitoring the quality and delivery of evidence-based services and clinical care across the province to provide a better and more consistent patient experience
  • create common performance indicators and shared infrastructure to disseminate evidence and set service expectations
  • provide support and resources to Ontario Health Teams as they use the core services framework to connect patients to the different types of mental health and addictions care they need and help them navigate the complex system

As the Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence standardizes and better organizes the system, it will enable and drive the effective implementation of the roadmap's four pillars:

  • improving quality
  • expanding existing services
  • implementing innovative solutions
  • improving access

The four pillars are described further in the full plan, but some of the exciting changes include:

  • core services framework - Once developed, this framework will identify and define the core provincially-funded mental health and addictions services that will be made available over time to Ontarians, regardless of where they live.
  • mindability - A program that provides access to evidence-based, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for people living with depression and anxiety. The program will be offered in various forms including telephone coaching and clinical counselling, psychoeducational groups, internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy and face-to-face group and individual counselling.
  • coordinated access to mental health and addictions core services - In the future, any person living in Ontario will be able to call, text or go online to learn more or get help by using:
    • one easy-to-remember and toll-free phone number that all Ontarians can call, regardless of geography
    • an easy-to-use website with an online chat function and client resource

Read the full plan in English and French.

If you have questions or comments about the Roadmap, you can send an email to Roadmaptowellness@ontario.ca.