Canada’s Ontario province is providing $28m to local mental health and addiction organisations, in a bid to provide closer care to people with mental health and addiction challenges.
Investment will be used to support mental health and addiction services, including supportive housing, short-term crisis beds, peer support groups and treatment programmes.
Ontario is also creating a province-wide registry of mental health beds to connect people with a mental health crisis with the closest available bed.
Ontario health and long-term care minister Dr Eric Hoskins said: "By continuing to invest in community services, we’re helping to connect people with the support they need closer to home through settings that are more culturally appropriate and personal.
"These investments will improve the lives of people experiencing mental illness and addiction challenges, and the families that help care for them."
The programme will provide doctors, first responders and emergency departments with up-to-date information about available inpatient beds across the province.
Under the comprehensive mental health and addiction strategy in the next phase, Ontario is planning to invest up to $138m over three years to support improvements to mental health and addiction services, through Local Health Integration Networks.
For 2014-15, each of the 14 Local Health Integration Networks is investing an additional $2m in community-based mental health and addiction services, while there are currently 4,700 inpatient mental health beds in 80 facilities across Ontario.
Image: Ontario health and long-term care minister Dr Eric Hoskins. Photo: courtesy of Ontario.