Ontario Expanding Access to Mental Health and Addictions Services in Waterloo Region

Published on October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

KITCHENER - The Ontario government is providing an additional $176 million this year to help expand access for critical mental health and addictions supports during COVID-19. This funding is part of the province's investment of $3.8 billion over 10 years and enables Ontario's comprehensive plan, A Roadmap to Wellness, to deliver high-quality care and build a modern, connected and comprehensive mental health and addictions system.


Today, MPP Mike Harris and MPP Amy Fee announced House of Friendship will receive $100,000 to support their addictions and substance use treatment services.


“This funding will support the incredible programs at House of Friendship and make substance use and addictions treatment more accessible in our community”, said Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris. “Increasing access to these is a crucial part of the Roadmap to Wellness and the implementation of this plan is a key priority of our government.”

"Each year, House of Friendship offers hope and help to individuals and families across Waterloo Region who are impacted by poverty or addiction, working with those who need food, housing, substance use treatment, or support in low-income neighbourhoods”, said Kitchener South-Hespeler MPP Amy Fee.

“This extra funding will support an additional 100 people who have addiction concerns, providing evidence-based interventions that allow these individuals to return to their families and employment, and enjoy a better quality of life”, said Tara Groves-Taylor, Director of Addiction Services at House of Friendship.

The $176 million investment will help address urgent gaps in care, enhance access to mental health and addictions services, create new supports and expand programs in several priority areas, including:

  • Community-based services in English and French, including services for children and
  • Mental health and justice services;
  • Supportive housing for individuals with serious mental health and addiction challenges,
    and who are either homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • Community and residential addictions, including treatment and care for opioid addictions;
  • Increased supports for Indigenous peoples, families, and communities; and
  • More hospital in-patient beds for mental health and addiction patients.

As part of this funding, the province is investing in targeted community and residential addictions services including:

  • $4 million for nurse practitioners for detox services to improve the medical management of clients who are withdrawing from substance use in residential withdrawal management facilities;
  • $8 million for addictions day and evening care to increase access to intensive non-residential addictions and substance use treatment services for youth and adults; and
  • $3.5 million for in-home/mobile withdrawal management services to increase access to community withdrawal management services for hard to service clients, including those located in rural areas;


"By making these investments, our government is making it easier for people to find and access high-quality mental health and addictions services when and where they need them," said Minister Elliott. "We're working across government and with system partners to provide long-term stability and investments in critical services to improve and modernize the system and close urgent gaps in care."

"We made a promise to the people of Ontario to address the growing frustration with capacity issues within our mental health and addictions system," said Associate Minister Tibollo. "Despite the additional challenges facing Ontarians during this outbreak, we are focused on increasing capacity and addressing wait times for services, so that Ontarians can get quality care and improve their quality of life."

To enable Roadmap to Wellness, Ontario is investing $3.8 billion over 10 years to create new services and expand programs. The province has started to fill urgent gaps in care as identified by system partners. This year's $176 million increase builds on the $174 million the government invested last year in more funding for mental health and addictions programs, bringing new base investments across the sector since 2019-20 to a total of more than $350 million.