New Mental Health and Addictions Strategy Supported by Ontario's Hospitals

TORONTO, June 23, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) welcomes the Government of Ontario's Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, "Open Minds, Healthy Minds", launched yesterday.

"We appreciate the attention that government is giving to mental health and addictions with the release of the Strategy, and are pleased to see that it addresses care across an individual's lifespan, with an immediate focus on children and youth", said Glenna Raymond, President and CEO, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences, and Chair of the OHA's Mental Health and Addiction Provincial Leadership Council. "Mental health care is not possible without the contributions of many stakeholders. Only through the combined efforts of government branches, working with providers, community partners and consumers can we improve access for all Ontarians touched by mental illness."

In particular, the OHA is pleased to see a number of its recommendations included in the strategy, such as the development and implementation of a wait-time strategy for children and youth mental health services; a strengthened role for family health care teams in providing mental health and addiction services; and a targeted funding increase to help community services respond more quickly to children and youth mental health issues. We also strongly support the government's plan to expand tele-psychiatry to provide enhanced access to mental health services for children and youth in rural and remote communities.

"Ontario's mental health and addictions hospitals provide a range of specialized clinical services in both hospital and community settings. They are committed to supporting this strategy, and to working with stakeholders from across sectors to ensure our children and youth receive timely access to high quality, integrated services," said Tom Closson, OHA President and CEO. "We look forward to providing input and advice on the strategy to the government and its Mental Health and Addictions Advisory Council, once it is established."

About the OHA:

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public hospitals.  Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care system for all Ontarians.

SOURCE Ontario Hospital Association

For further information:

Media Contact: Tami Harel

Ontario Hospital Association

416-205-1346/tharel@oha.com


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