Government introduces Bill 116, Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act

On May 27th government introduced Bill 116, the Foundations for Promoting and Protecting Mental Health and Addictions Services Act. which if passed will give the Minister of Health and Ontario Health (the province's new central health agency) oversight for mental health and addictions care within the integrated health care system introduced by the Connecting Care Act, 2019. The purpose of the Act is to lay a foundation to support a mental health and addictions strategy in Ontario.

The Bill proposes a Mental Health and Addictions Centre of Excellence to act as a "central engine" for the delivery of mental health and addictions services in Ontario and which would be situated within Ontario Health.  This delivers upon a recommendation of the 2010 Select Committee on Mental Health to establish a central point of accountability and oversight for mental health and addictions care in Ontario that would;

  • standardize and monitor the quality and delivery of services and clinical care across the province to provide a better and more consistent patient experience;
  • put into operation the province's mental health and addictions strategy; and
  • develop clinical, quality and service standards for mental health and addictions.

The Act requires the Minister of Health and Long Term Care to develop and maintain the mental health and addictions strategy, “recognizing that mental health and addictions care is a core component of an integrated health care system”.  The Centre of Excellence will be responsible for putting this strategy into operation.

View Ministry announcement.

Implications for Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapist will applaud the formal recognition this proposed legislation brings to the importance of a globally coordinated and integrated mental health system in Ontario.  This announcement confirms the government’s work on the development of a mental health strategy. As mental health professionals, occupational therapists will wish to be contributing to the development of this strategy.

OSOT’s Mental Health Sector Teams contribute to the development of the Society’s positions and inputs to provincial services and strategies.  Add your voice and contributions!  Submit your thoughts to the Team at