Mental Health Commission of Canada welcomes Ontario Government announcement

Participants in At Home/Chez Soi Toronto project to receive ongoing support

CALGARY, Feb. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The Government of Ontario announced today that it will provide continued supportive housing and services to people living with mental illness who are currently part of the Mental Health Commission of Canada's (MHCC) At Home/Chez Soi research demonstration project.

This investment will maintain 216 supportive housing units and support services for 240 formerly homeless people living with mental illness in Toronto.

"The link between chronic homelessness and mental illness is widely acknowledged, but not fully understood. This new investment by the Government of Ontario which has been a champion of the Housing First approach for some time, is significant," says MHCC President and CEO Louise Bradley. "It means that the people who have been helped by the At Home/Chez Soi project in Toronto will continue to receive the support they need."

Launched in 2008, At Home/Chez Soi is a four-year research demonstration project of the MHCC designed to investigate the best ways to help homeless people who also live with mental illness. Through a Housing First approach, participants were given housing through rent subsidies and access to mental health services and supports. The project is taking place in five Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal, Moncton, Winnipeg and Vancouver. A final research report is expected later this year.

The announcement by the Government of Ontario coincides with Bell Let's talk day - an initiative to raise funds for mental health initiatives and get Canadians talking about mental health issues.

"Very few families are untouched by mental illness and addictions," says the Hon. Deb Matthews, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Initiatives like the At Home/Chez Soi project and Bell's Let's Talk Day are challenging the stigma associated with mental illness and making a big difference in the lives of those who have struggled alone for too long."

For more on Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care, read "Open Minds, Health Minds: Ontario's comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy."

For more on the MHCC's At Home/Chez Soi research, read the Interim Report.

ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH COMMISSION OF CANADA

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is a catalyst for change. We are collaborating with hundreds of partners to change the attitudes of Canadians toward mental health problems and to improve services and support. Our goal is to help people who live with mental health problems and illnesses lead meaningful and productive lives. Together we spark change.

The Mental Health Commission of Canada is funded by Health Canada.
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SOURCE: Mental Health Commission of Canada

For further information:

Media Contact:
Kyle Marr, Senior Communication Specialist
Mental Health Commission of Canada
Office: (403) 385‐4050
Cell: (587) 226-8782
kmarr@mentalhealthcommission.ca