McGuinty Government Strengthens Community Support for Seniors' Mental Health



    Province-wide Network Receives Funds for Public Education, Training

    TORONTO, April 10 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is investing $100,000
to increase awareness of the issues facing older persons living with mental
illness and addictions, Minister Responsible for Seniors, Jim Bradley,
announced today.
    "It is a myth that mental illness is just a part of growing older,"
Bradley said. "Our government is pleased to support efforts to increase
understanding of mental health and aging among the general public, caregivers
and seniors."
    The funds have been given to the Older Persons' Mental Health and
Addictions Network (OPMHAN), whose membership includes more than 60 regional
and provincial organizations.
    The Older Persons' Mental Health and Addictions Network is the only
province-wide organization that works exclusively to link the fields of aging,
mental illness and addictions. The government investment will enable the
Network to publish a brochure on aging and depression, train volunteers to
present mental health seminars at seniors' information fairs, and hold 14
training sessions for staff of community agencies.
    The McGuinty government's other initiatives to support Ontario's aging
population include:

    
    -   Engaging in province-wide consultations with the goal of establishing
        a new regulatory framework for strengthening standards of care in
        Ontario retirement homes
    -   Enhancing the Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits for seniors once
        again in 2007. This will result in $97 million in property tax relief
        this year for eligible seniors
    -   Providing $453,000 to 55 organizations across the province working to
        combat elder abuse in their communities
    -   Expanding the award-winning www.seniorsinfo.ca website for seniors to
        provide one-stop access to programs and services for seniors living
        in smaller municipalities across the province
    -   Ending mandatory retirement
    -   Ontario's Wait-Time Strategy which has resulted in a 41 per cent
        reduction in wait times for cataract surgery; 30 per cent reduction
        for knee replacements; 16 per cent reduction for cancer surgery.

    "Our government is working with partners across Ontario to ensure that
older adults can live in dignity, security and independence," Bradley said.
"We are strengthening the capacity of our communities to meet the changing
needs of today's seniors."

    Disponible en français

                      www.gov.on.ca/citizenship/seniors
    




For further information:

For further information: David Oved, Minister's Office, (416) 314-1400;
Donna Piasentini, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7242

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