Ontario invests $32.7 million in New Annualized Funding for Addiction Services

The Ontario government is investing $32.7 million in new annualized funding for targeted addictions services and supports, including treatment for opioid addictions. 

As the province continues the fight against COVID-19, this funding will help to enhance access to evidence-based, high-quality addictions services and address urgent gaps in needed supports across the continuum of care, including:  

  • $2.25 million for the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network’s action plan to support individuals in their journey across the continuum of care (i.e., Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics, establishing addiction consultation services in hospitals; and coordinating/integrating services between Toronto providers);
  • $6.9 million towards provincial opioid response investments (i.e., more harm reduction workers provincewide, expanding RAAM clinics and establishing Acute Consultation Services in areas with high rates of opioid use);
  • Over $18.8 million for bed-based investments for adults and youth who need intensive supports (i.e., Pine River, Bluewater Health, and Sault Area Hospital);
  • $4.75 million for community-based services (i.e., virtual care through Renascent, appropriate programming for racialized communities, and more peer support services). 

View July 7, 2021 Announcement and details.

Implications for Occupational Therapists
Occupational therapists are important mental health professionals that contribute to addiction services teams and bring a unique focus on occupational performance in the context of one's environment, relationships and can support recovery by helping individuals to “recover” meaningful activities, rather than just removing or reducing a behaviour (e.g. substance use). View CAOT's Occupational Therapy and Substance Use.

OSOT has worked to promote occupational therapy as a mental health profession, well suited for inclusion in provincially funded mental health and addiction programs. Our advocacy with the Associate Minister for Mental Health has increased visibility of the profession in this regard. OTs are encouraged to position their skills to meet the needs of individuals with additions, watching for expanded program opportunities.