At a press conference in Sudbury, Ford said the money will go toward safely resuming in-person counselling services, virtual services and providing care in congregate settings, as well as to specialized services for Indigenous communities.
“The stress and anxiety so many Ontarians have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult and complex,” said Michael Tibollo, Ontario’s associate minister of mental health and addiction.
“We want Ontarians who need that extra help to have access to the high-quality supports they deserve.”
Of the government’s $14.75-million investment, $7 million will be allocated to increasing in-person mental health and addictions services to address the gaps that have occurred due to COVID-19. This includes giving the money to community-based services, supportive housing and congregate living services.
The Ontario government says $4.75 million will support culturally appropriate services for Indigenous communities, while $3 million will go toward increasing online services, including for peer support, online cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and addictions support.
On Thursday, the Ontario government also announced that it will invest more than $2.9 million to fund eight research projects that aim to support Ontario’s response to COVID-19
The government says the projects will focus on a number of different areas, including supporting people’s mental health, assessing the long-term health effects of COVID-19 and evaluating the effectiveness of wearing masks to block the virus.