TORONTO — Ontario plans to spend an added $32.7 million each year on addiction services.

Health Minister Christine Elliott says the money is part of the province’s pledge to pour $3.8 billion into mental health and addiction supports over the course of 10 years.

The new spending includes more than $18.8 million in “bed-based investments” for people who need intensive supports.

It also includes $6.9 million for the provincial opioid response, which will go towards hiring harm reduction workers and expanding rapid access addiction medicine clinics.

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Ontario government spending $31M more for children, youth mental health services

There’s also $2.25 million earmarked for “elements” of a Toronto-based opioid response proposed by the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network, including money to integrate services between providers to make transitioning between supports easier.

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The Ontario branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association says it welcomes the funding, but that it doesn’t go far enough.

Camille Quenneville, who heads up the CMHA-O, says the government should consider increasing the cap on the number of consumption and treatment services sites across Ontario, which is currently set at 21.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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