Canada’s Ontario Government has announced the start of construction of two new buildings at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) Queen Street West campus in Toronto.

These two new buildings are backed by the Ontario government’s C$1.6bn ($1.1bn) funding, which is part of a strategy to offer improved mental health and addiction services.

The new buildings, the Secure Care and Recovery Building and the Discovery Centre, represent the fourth phase and final phase in two decades of the redevelopment programme at CAMH.

Intended to enhance CAMH’s forensic mental health services, the Secure Care and Recovery Building will comprise an increased number of beds for the forensic mental health programme.

It will have dedicated family visitation areas within inpatient units, enclosed outdoor spaces to aid recovery, outpatient services, and improved security and building support services.

Currently under construction, the Discovery Centre will centralise CAMH’s research services at the Queen Street location.

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It is expected to transform the site into an academic campus that merges care with research, education, and policy development.

CAMH president and CEO Sarah Downey said: “The physical transformation of our Queen Street West site is turning what was once a walled institution into a symbol of hope for the future of mental health care.

“With the construction of the Secure Care and Recovery Building and Discovery Centre, we will continue to provide the highest quality care to our most complex patients and accelerate research discoveries and developments that will improve the lives of those living with mental illness, because mental health is health.”